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Burgum signs $25 million bill aimed at ‘carbon neutral’ power

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Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., signed the last in a package of bills aimed at North Dakota’s energy sector.

With the governor’s signature, the state established a $25 million fund for companies to develop new technologies to bring down carbon emissions.

As part of what state leaders call an “all of the above” energy initiative, lawmakers are laying the groundwork to diversify North Dakota’s power options and make them greener.

The heavy focus for the fund will be carbon capture initiatives like Project Tundra, which takes carbon emissions from coal power and puts the CO2 in the ground or in storage for manufacturing.

“Kids in school are being told it’s the devil element on the periodic table, but we understand here that we’re actually going to be short on CO2 if all of these plans come true and that’s why we need CO2 infrastructure to help us move carbon around,” Burgum said.

Supporters said the bill is, in part, meant to support the coal industry which has been under political and financial pressure for years.

The bill received overwhelming and bipartisan support in both chambers along with the other energy bills.

The bill also establishes a sixteen-person committee of industry leaders, agency heads, and cabinet members to guide which projects to fund.

Ultimately, the state’s Industrial Commission, which is made up of the governor, attorney general and agriculture commissioner, will have the final say on distributions.

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