Heidi is a longtime advocate for a strong, multi-pronged energy industry in North Dakota. She believes our state can be a leader in reducing the country's dependence on Mideast oil through the development of domestic energy sources such as natural gas, oil, and renewable energy like solar and wind power.
By diversifying and investing in the emerging renewable energy economy, we can better insulate our economy from cycles of booms and busts. Heidi wants to ensure that energy jobs will be around far into North Dakota's future -- and that we maintain the landscape that we love and depend on.
As a director of Dakota Gasification Company, she believes the Great Plains Synfuels Plant is an example of how innovative projects bring jobs to our state and make wise use of our energy resources.
Every day, the plant creates, on average, more than 150 million cubic feet of synthetic natural gas from lignite coal, and captures almost half of the carbon dioxide emissions for further profit. Heidi calls it "a marvel on the prairie."
"The Synfuels Plant was a public-private partnership that helped build new technology and a new industry from scratch through innovation and hard work. It brought people together, brought investment to our state and created wealth and jobs in small rural towns. It's a great North Dakota and American story," she says.
Heidi is particularly proud of the fact that the facility is a successful and profitable enterprise that has returned more than $1.2 billion to the federal government.
Dakota Gas is also an international leader in the capture, compression and sequestration of carbon dioxide. Since 2000, millions of tons of CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere has been compressed and exported to Canada for use in enhanced oil recovery. This is just one more example of how advanced technologies can efficiently create more abundance from current resources.
"I believe the best ideas come when you set party politics aside and just do what's right for North Dakota and for the country," says Heidi. "We found common ground on how to fit coal, natural gas, and a strong commitment to lasting renewable energy jobs into our national energy plan. We can find common ground on how to cut spending, balance the budget and create jobs."