Mid-American Regulatory Conference focuses on future of fossil fuels, carbon capture

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The state's Public Service Commission is hosting the Mid-American Regulatory Conference annual meeting in Bismarck this week.

More than 200 attendees both locally and from around the country are attending the three day conference.

There are many topics up for discussion, including the future of fossil fuels.

Renewable energy such as wind farms and solar energy have been developing more recently in North Dakota and around the globe, but some industry leaders say fossil fuels will stay in the mix.

More than 80 percent of the worlds energy is from fossil fuel, but to keep this energy thriving amidst CO2 and flaring regulations the Department of Energy is looking to new technologies.

"I think what we really got to do is accelerate the development of the technologies that are going to enable us to better utilize the fossil fuels moving forward," says David Mohler, Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary with Fossil Energy.

A new advancement the DOE is researching is Carbon Capture and Sequestration. After capturing the CO2 it would be injected into oil basins in a process is known as enhanced oil recovery.

"But there are other ways you can use CO2. To grow algae, use the algae to use pet fuel, cosmetics, animal feed and bio-derived liquid fuels," says Mohler.

The goal of this technology would be to find useful ways to re-use carbon dioxide, instead of letting it go back into the atmosphere.

Mohler says the cost is a concern moving forward.