GRAND FORKS, N.D. – June 27 marked the start of the 6 annual “Energizing North Dakota’s Future.” The event hosted at the EERC brought together experts from all energy sectors, along with legislators and state officials, to discuss critical energy topics. This year’s event featured keynote addresses from U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, as well as North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
The event kicked off on Tuesday morning with a welcome from EERC CEO Charles Gorecki. He highlighted the energy industry’s impact on North Dakota’s economy. “More than half of the state’s annual income comes from tax revenue from oil,” Gorecki explained, “and since we have been producing oil out of the Bakken Formation, the tax revenue from that alone has been more than $24 billion, and we have the potential to produce so much more.” This statement sparked several conversations around the common theme of North Dakota being a powerhouse for sustainable energy production.
There were also discussions about carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), oil, gas, coal, hydrogen, and other renewable energy sources from North Dakota. CCUS, in particular, was a hot topic of discussion. The demand for clean, sustainable energy is expected to increase as the world’s population grows by an estimated 2 billion by 2050. In response to anticipated demand, there’s growing concern that the accumulation of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activity may affect global climate and impending policy and regulations to restrict CO2 emissions. The EERC highlighted its work with current CCUS projects, which will eventually be able to capture 13 million metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to the CO2 produced by 2.8 million cars.
Senator Hoeven mentioned the importance of CCUS in North Dakota as it relates to not only the state but also the world. “Access to low-cost, dependable energy is directly related to our economic and national security,” said Hoeven. “That’s why we’ve built North Dakota into the absolute leader in CCUS, which is vital to carry coal-fired electric into the future. We’ve been at this for nearly 15 years, and the EERC continues to lead the way. Our state is going to crack the code on this important technology for the benefit of our entire nation.”
Also presented on Tuesday was the EERC Energy Champion Award. The award was created in 1986 to honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary personal commitment to energy and environmental research and development. Since then, the award has been presented 12 times to honorees who represent both public service and the private sector, most recently to North Dakota Petroleum Council President, Ron Ness. To read more about the EERC’s Energy Champion Award, check out 2022 Energy Champion Award Presented to Ron Ness.