Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Governor Jack Dalrymple praised North Dakota's potential to serve as an energy hub for the nation today as they welcomed researchers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and industry leaders to a two-day conference at Bismarck State College's National Energy Center of Excellence. Industry leaders gathered in North Dakota's Capital City to discuss some of North Dakota's -- and the nation's -- most pressing energy issues.
"North Dakota has the potential to be the powerhouse for the nation," Senator Conrad said. "Imagine what a difference it would make here at home if, instead of sending $300 billion overseas every year to buy foreign oil, we invested that money right here at home. It would invigorate our national economy, create good-paying jobs and help boost our national security."
"We built EmPower North Dakota piece by piece over a decade, making the most of our state's traditional and renewable resources to create jobs, raise personal income and reduce our nation's reliance on foreign sources of energy," Senator Hoeven said. "We need to take the same approach on a national level by forging the kind of legal, tax and regulatory environment that will attract investment, promote innovation and create jobs for the American people."
"North Dakota is a model for America in the development of innovative, long-term energy resources to meet our nation's growing demand for energy produced in a clean, environmentally friendly and sustainable way," Governor Dalrymple said. "Our focus with Empower ND has been to develop all of our energy resources in tandem, both traditional and renewable, building on the significant progress currently underway in North Dakota and maximizing the potential of our energy resources."
With North Dakota's vast potential to help meet the nation's need for both traditional and renewable sources of energy, the key challenge on both the state and national level is to establish energy policies that support safe and responsible domestic production and utilization with the ultimate goal of making the nation more energy independent.
To that end, Senator Conrad has introduced the "Fulfilling U.S. Energy Leadership Act" -- also known as the FUEL Act -- a blueprint for a national energy policy that would support domestic oil and gas production, including an environmentally responsible expansion of offshore activity, while also investing in the development of renewable fuels.
A member of the Senate Energy Committee, Senator Hoeven has worked to bring to Washington the same kind of legal, tax and regulatory environment for energy development that he helped to forge in North Dakota with EmPower North Dakota. That includes a range of legislation, including the Regulatory Responsibility for Our Economy Act, which will require review and repeal of outmoded or ineffective regulations that may be impeding energy production and job creation; the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act, which will help produce more petroleum from existing wells, while sequestering carbon from coal electrical generating facilities; and the Critical Minerals Act, which will encourage the production of minerals essential to the energy sources of the future, including solar and advanced battery technology."
Governor Dalrymple has worked to broaden the scope of Empower ND, the state's comprehensive energy policy, and to build on the growth occurring in North Dakota's energy industry. The foundation of his energy policy has been to maximize North Dakota's diverse energy resources and promote growth in the industry by creating an attractive business climate, providing targeted incentives for each energy sector, and investing in research and development to generate innovative ideas and technologies for the future.
The fifth annual Energy Expo brought together the nation's leading energy experts to explore innovative ideas and help unlock North Dakota's energy potential. The lineup of speakers included industry heavyweights -- highlighted by a keynote address from Undersecretary of Energy, Dr. Steven E. Koonin, - exploring a diverse agenda, including engaging and in-depth panel discussions on national energy policy, workforce development, and hydraulic fracturing.
The Senators and Governor also noted presentations by Alex Pourbaix, President, TransCanada Energy and Oil Pipelines and Mark Brownstein, Environmental Defense Fund as highlights of the Expo.
The fifth annual Energy Expo was made possible through a partnership among Bismarck State College, Great Plains Energy Corridor, Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.