Issue Position: Energy
North Dakota has an incredible opportunity to be a leader in the coming renewable energy revolution. It's an opportunity that can help restore our long-suffering rural communities. Unfortunately, our state's current leadership is letting that opportunity blow right by. Of the twelve states with high wind energy capacity, North Dakota has been tagged by the Department of Energy as having the least development by 2030. We have to reverse this trend if North Dakota is to thrive in the 21st century.
As Governor I will:
* Make North Dakota the nation's wind energy leader. [Details]
North Dakota is the Saudi Arabia of wind. The state has more wind than any other state in the country. We should be first in the nation in generating wind energy. Instead we are ranked thirteenth, while our neighbor to our east, Minnesota, is ranked third. We need to catch up by investing in all elements of a major wind energy industry owned by North Dakota companies and individuals.
* Spearhead the construction of an environmentally friendly oil refinery.
Western North Dakota holds potentially the largest oil deposit in the lower forty-eight states. We need a new refinery to process that oil and to keep the profits from the sale of the gasoline here in North Dakota. The refinery need not be state-owned. It can be privately owned, tribally owned or a partnership between private and public investment.
* Create a new office of Renewable Power Marketing.
This new office will assist start-up green energy firms and co-ops in the complicated process of selling their power to distant markets. Rather than simply offering tax incentives for out-of state companies to build renewable energy facilities here, it will assist North Dakotans in becoming the owners and operators of these new facilities. It will be run by a professional power marketer, not a political appointee.