Our People

Governor’s Award Presented to Kevin Connors

On September 15, Assistant Director for Regulatory Compliance and Energy Policy at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), Kevin C. Connors, was presented with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. The Governor’s Awards recognize state team members who go above and beyond to serve North Dakotans and deliver on our shared purpose to Empower People, Improve Lives, and Inspire Success.

Kevin Connors accepting Governor’s Award. Photo courtesy of Danelle Hopkins

Early on in his career, Kevin Connors chose the path of a pioneer in the industry, accomplishing great works for the betterment of North Dakota. Kevin started his work in North Dakota as a Wellsite Geologist at the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and was eventually moved into a role to create a framework for CO2 storage in North Dakota. He was ultimately the person tasked with seeking Class VI primacy from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for North Dakota. After several years of Kevin’s dedicated effort and hard work, North Dakota received primacy, becoming the first of only two states to be granted the responsibility of permitting and regulating permanent CO2 storage. Kevin eventually moved on from DMR to industry and then to the EERC at the University of North Dakota, where he started working with industry on the implementation of CO2 storage projects.

Kevin has been involved in all of North Dakota’s Class VI storage well permits, in addition, he is leading the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership Program at the EERC and helping North Dakota lead the world in the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Of course, Kevin did not do this alone. Kevin works with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and business professionals to integrate legal and regulatory policy, economics, and tax perspectives with applied research related to incremental oil recovery, unconventional oil recovery, and CO2 capture and geologic storage. Many other people also deserve an immense amount of credit, which is exactly what Kevin would say.

Governor Doug Burgum, Kevin Connors, and Lt. Governor Brent Sanford. Photo courtesy of Danelle Hopkins.

“He does incredible work for the EERC, North Dakota, and the United States and does it with grace and humility. I think Kevin sets a great example for others to follow, leads by example, and exemplifies North Dakota’s pioneering spirit!” said Charles Gorecki, EERC CEO. We encourage you to join us in recognizing Kevin for truly making a difference for North Dakota. The EERC is pleased to work with individuals like Kevin who consistently approach challenges as opportunities to focus on the needs of North Dakota citizens, and to do work you can be proud of.

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