During the first week of August 2021, the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) hosted the Energizing North Dakota Conference on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The annual event, typically held in May, was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
“It’s all about getting together,” said EERC CEO Charles Gorecki. “We are fortunate to have strong partnerships from around the state interested in collaboration and working toward a greater energy future in North Dakota.”
Energizing North Dakota brings together experts from all energy sectors, along with legislators and state officials, to discuss critical energy topics. Speakers from around the state included Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven; Representative Kelly Armstrong; Lt. Governor Brent Sanford; North Dakota State Senator Jessica Bell, Chair of the interim Committee on Energy Development and Transportation; UND President Andy Armacost; and industry leaders discussing industry topics both in person and on video. A panel of experts, Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council; Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner; and J.C. Butler Jr., President and CEO of North American Coal Corporation and NACCO Industries, Inc., discussed North Dakota’s clean, sustainable energy future in the post-COVID economy.
Lt. Governor Sanford’s remarks carried themes of teamwork, accomplishment, and vision. “We’re seeing lots of positive momentum right now looking at projects across the energy spectrum,” he said. “North Dakota’s all-of-the-above energy approach continues to pay off. Industry collaboration is vital right now; other states talk about this, but we’re at the forefront.”
The event was attended by 130 guests. Following the event’s closing comments, attendees were invited to partake in a variety of Grand Forks-focused events, including a tour of UND and a tour of Historic Downtown.