Issue Position: Energy - Mathern's Wind Energy Plan
North Dakota is missing out on a once-in-a-generation opportunity. As the nation's leader in wind energy potential, we could produce up to 25 percent of the nation's electricity with just wind power, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Unfortunately, the current governor is doing little to turn our potential into a reality. Tim Mathern has a plan to put us on the path to producing 10,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020. North Dakota can lead the way in the national renewable energy revolution and revive our rural communities with high paying jobs and wind farm ownership cooperatives.
Here's how we'll do it:
* Create an Office of Renewable Power to partner with potential private wind developers and utilities. The office will provide a helping hand to those looking to develop wind or transmission capacity. It will help them market the power to potential customers, help with technical expertise and seek areas where public private partnerships would be helpful in developing the state's wind capacity.
* Solve the state's transmission grid problem. Currently, North Dakota lacks the transmission capacity to export the additional wind power that I envision us producing. So instead of being absent at multi-state meetings to solve this problem like our current governor, I will make it a top priority to work with our neighbors on this issue.
* Promote ownership by our North Dakota farmers and cooperatives, instead of large out of state utilities. This will keep the proceeds of such investment within our state's borders. We need an energy future of North Dakota wind farms owned by North Dakotans.
* Welcome national efforts like the one brought to our state by T. Boone Pickens. A Mathern administration will actively work to make sure North Dakota has a seat at the table if ideas like the Pickens Plan are implemented.