EPA moves forward with North Dakota’s CO2 storage application

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North Dakota may soon be the first state in the country to store CO2 emissions beneath the earth's surface.

It's an effort to combat global warming.

For an industry many say has been up against the ropes, The new rule from the EPA was welcome news for coal advocates.

"One more option for our future and it gives us a lot more options of what to do when we finally start capturing that CO2," said John Bohrer, President Lignite Energy Council.

The approval to use class six wells allows the state a new option when it comes to Carbon Dioxide storage.

"We have a company, Red Trail Ethanol plant that want's to capture they're CO2 and put that CO2 in the ground and store it, so carbon capture and storage. I think we'd be the first state and this would be the first ethanol plant in the country doing something like that," said Sen. John Hoeven, (R) North Dakota.

"What this allows us to do, if the state of North Dakota so chooses, is to simply pump that CO2 underground and store it there indefinitely," said Bohrer.

Members of the energy community say they're excited about the prospects of the new rule.

"We've got research underway right now, that is exploring the initial phases of this type of work, so we're well underway to take advantage of this, and that doesn't apply very many other places around the country," said Bohrer.

The state industrial commission says the new technology will benefit North Dakota's environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A 60-day public comment period has begun, after which E-P-A will make a final decision on the application.