Burgum highlights innovation with Energy Secretary Rick Perry
Gov. Doug Burgum on Monday 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.
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.
“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. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Secretary Perry and the entire administration to enhance our nation’s energy security.”
Sanford joins energy roundtable with Perry
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.
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.
Little Shell Powwow held in New Town
On Saturday, Gov. Burgum attended the Little Shell Powwow in New Town. Burgum participated in the opening ceremony and delivered remarks at the event, where he thanked organizers and attendees. The Little Shell Powwow is among the biggest in the state and attracts visitors from around the state and region. Burgum and Sanford have placed an emphasis on strengthening tribal relationships as part of the administration's five strategic initiatives.
Higher Education Governance Task Force advances four options
Gov. Burgum and members of the Task Force for Higher Education Governance met Monday in Fargo to further discuss opportunities to improve the governance structure for higher education in North Dakota. Task force members heard proposals on seven different governance structures, ranging from one to several governing boards. The group ultimately advanced four proposals and will continue to debate and evaluate options leading up to the 2019 legislative session. The task force is a part of the administration's commitment to transforming education, one of the five strategic initiatives.
Soybean growers discuss trade, tariffs with Governor
Representatives from the North Dakota Soybean Council and North Dakota Soybean Growers Association met with Gov. Burgum on Wednesday to outline concerns regarding trade and tariffs with China. The Governor's Office has monitored the situation closely and has encouraged President Trump and White House officials to resolve the situation quickly while underscoring support for free and fair trade deals that allow North Dakota producers to compete on the world stage. Most recently, Burgum spoke with administration officials during his trip to Bedminster, N.J., to participate in President Trump's roundtable meeting on prison reform.
Sanford highlights importance of community banks
Lt. Gov. Sanford on Wednesday addressed the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota’s 51st annual convention in Bismarck, speaking to members about the importance of community banks in supporting healthy, vibrant communities – one of the three pillars of the Burgum/Sanford administration’s Main Street Initiative. Sanford also noted that community banks continue to play a large role in providing credit to small businesses, farms and rural communities, holding nearly 45 percent of the banking industry’s small loans to farms and businesses.