Karlene Fine, former Executive Director and Secretary of the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC), is the Energy & Environmental Research Center’s (EERC’s) 13th Energy Champion. Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Fine’s leadership and unparalleled knowledge of state government have spearheaded and shepherded many programs to help North Dakota and the nation develop clean, sustainable energy.
As Executive Director of NDIC, Fine oversaw 16 entities, including the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), the Lignite Research Program (LRP), the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority (CSEA), and the Renewable Energy Program (REP). EERC team members were a substantial beneficiary of her steady, level-headed, professional leadership, always making herself and her creative problem-solving skills available when an anomaly in reporting, documentation, invoicing, or interagency communications occurred.
Fine oversaw NDIC’s Oil and Gas Research Program (OGRP), a state–industry program designed to demonstrate to the general public the importance of the state’s oil and gas exploration and production industry, to encourage and promote the wise and efficient use of energy, to promote environmentally sound exploration and production methods and technologies, to develop the state’s oil and gas resources, and to support research and educational activities related to our oil and natural gas exploration and production industry. This program, along with the LRP, CSEA, and REP, has been instrumental in helping the EERC and its many commercial stakeholders create, secure, and proliferate abundant, clean, reliable, and affordable energy for the state’s citizens and for our countless out-of-state customers and beneficiaries of North Dakota’s energy development.
Throughout her 52 years of work for the state of North Dakota, Fine exemplified the principles of integrity, respect, dedication, and an unparalleled work ethic. Her professionalism and exceptional commitment to champion clean, sustainable energy development throughout her impressive career earn her this award. The EERC is honored to present Karlene Fine with the 2023 Energy Champion Award.
The EERC’s Energy Champion 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 13 times to honorees who represent both public service and the private sector.