ND energy leaders testify in Congress

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON D.C. (KFYR) - Wednesday, we learned inflation in the U.S. jumped 9.1% and energy costs have soared more than 41% higher than what they were last year.

It’s not a secret that energy prices are high. Wednesday, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Ron Ness and Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak testified in front of the United States Senate to discuss how to lower energy prices.

“It’s an incredible asset to our nation to be able to supply our own refineries in America with homemade American Bakken oil, versus Libyan oil, Venezuelan oil, OPEC oil,” said Ron Ness.

North Dakota’s energy leaders are skeptical of President Biden’s 2035 clean energy deadline.

“Be honest with American citizens. Transitioning our grid to 100 percent renewable energy may be achievable and, for many, desirable, but it is not going to lower costs for anyone, especially in the next 25 years,” said Fedorchak.

Oil industry leaders in North Dakota say the U.S. needs to produce more oil.

“Energy security is national security, and we must not lose sight of that. Russia has weaponized their position as one of the top oil and gas producers in the world as they supply our enemies and hold our allies hostage. We must maximize our production, and not only to supply our domestic needs, but also to assist our allies,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

President Joe Biden last month said there’s more to the picture than what energy industry officials are saying.

“I know my Republican friends claim we’re not producing enough oil and I’m limiting oil production. Quite frankly, that’s nonsense. Here’s the truth: just this month, America produced 12 million barrels of oil per day. That’s higher than average under my predecessor,” said President Biden last month.

Still, Fedorchak testified to the challenges facing the transition to green energy, including affordability, reliability, and the timing of it.

“Let’s consider what we’re trying to accomplish: we are reinventing and rebuilding virtually the entire energy system that sustains all aspects of life in the United States. Considering the magnitude of this challenge, and the warning signs we are already seeing from our current approach, the solution I am going to suggest is quite simple. Most of this can be solved with one thing: patience,” said Fedorchak.

Wednesday was an informational meeting only.

Julie Fedorchak also testified about the importance of maintaining a reliable grid. She says a transition to green energy that comes too quickly could have “serious consequences.”

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