BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to North Dakota, joining him on a tour of North American Coal’s Falkirk Mine near Underwood and highlighting how innovation is providing a path forward for North Dakota’s lignite coal as a low-cost, reliable source of electricity for the nation’s power grid.
“We greatly appreciate Secretary Perry coming to see first-hand what makes North Dakota an energy powerhouse and a top 10 coal-producing state,” Burgum said. “With support from the state and U.S. Department of Energy, the lignite industry has invested billions of dollars to make great strides in reducing emissions while still producing three-quarters of North Dakota’s electricity, supplying power to 2 million customers in North Dakota and beyond and creating a $3 billion impact on our state’s economy. Innovative carbon-capture and storage projects such as the Allam Cycle and Project Tundra are showing tremendous promise to provide a path forward for coal and natural gas as part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Secretary Perry and the entire administration to enhance our nation’s energy security.”
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who serves on the state’s EmPower Commission, also joined Perry, Sen. John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer as they toured Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station and the Blue Flint Ethanol plant and held an energy roundtable at the University of Mary in Bismarck.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission, which Burgum chairs, has committed $3.2 million from the Lignite Research Fund to identify and reduce barriers relating to post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide. The Commission also has approved $1.5 million from the fund for CarbonSAFE, an integrated carbon storage complex feasibility study led by the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Earlier this year, thanks to work by North Dakota’s congressional delegation, the Department of Energy awarded $6 million to Project Tundra to retrofit the coal power plant near Center with technology for capturing carbon dioxide that could then be used for enhanced oil recovery. The state Legislature also provided roughly $5 million for Allam Cycle research.
Perry’s trip marks the sixth visit to North Dakota by a White House Cabinet official this year.