North Dakota Energy Leaders talk independence in virtual panel

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN) Coalition hosted North Dakota energy and economic leaders to discuss the oil and gas industry and its future.

Like many industries, the energy sector has been working to recover from a pandemic that saw prices tumble, workers out of jobs, and projects delayed or canceled. In North Dakota, the industry appears to be trending in the right direction, but the pandemic is no longer the biggest challenge to the state.

“I think there is no question that the greatest threat to our nation’s energy today is when you wake up every day and the federal government, in all of their actions and steps, want to tax you, want to shut you down, and want to limit your access to capital,” said Ron Ness, North Dakota Petroleum Council president.

Speaking on a virtual panel Wednesday, officials discussed the concerns they are seeing from the federal government that has worsened inflation and threatened U.S. energy independence.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said President Joe Biden’s calls to OPEC to ramp up production and waiving sanctions on Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 have been bad news for the country.

“It’s bad for our economy, bad for our security, and bad for our environment,” said Cramer.

Cramer added that conservatives have the best opportunity to show why American fossil fuel development and production is better than relying on companies overseas.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said North Dakota is leading the way toward clean energy production.

“It’s our goal to make that Bakken barrel just one iota cleaner than our competitors and it’s vastly cleaner than an OPEC barrel or a barrel from somewhere else in the world,” said Ness.

Through carbon capture projects, creation of the clean sustainable energy authority, and Gov. Doug Burgum’s goal to have the state go carbon neutral by 2030, Cramer said fossil fuels can remain useful in the years to come.

Cramer was also asked about ongoing court cases involving the Dakota Access Pipeline, to which he said that investors in the Bakken should feel comfortable about the pipeline’s progress.

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