Letter: Sustainable forms of energy abound in ND, but remain underfunded
The governor’s role, as chair of the Industrial Commission, is expressly to “manage” industries – not to lobby on their behalf to the president of the United States.
After lauding President Joe Biden’s ban on Russian energy imports, Gov. Burgum has called on Biden to “unleash U.S. oil and gas production” in the Bakken. He has also invited Biden to visit North Dakota, in order to see “clean, efficient, domestic oil production” firsthand.
If Biden were to visit, what would he find? In 2015, North Dakota sued the EPA to block federal protections of waterways. In 2017, North Dakota forcibly evicted Indigenous Water Protectors and allies from the pipeline-resistance camps at Standing Rock. In 2021, North Dakota diverted tens of millions of dollars in federal COVID relief funds to finance projects for which oil and gas companies have proprietary responsibility. And so on. Our state has so thoroughly colluded with out-of-state oil and gas developers, it can be hard to distinguish the two.
The governor’s role, as chair of the Industrial Commission, is expressly to “manage” industries – not to lobby on their behalf to the president of the United States. Sustainable, renewable sources of energy, including wind and solar, abound in our state, though they remain underfunded and, compared to oil and gas development, underpromoted by the chair of the Industrial Commission.
Capitalizing on the war against Ukraine to promote oil and gas development is akin to capitalizing on world hunger to promote fast food. We need more nourishing solutions – and here in North Dakota, we happen to have them.