Innovation in clean energy production is key to shoring up the United States’ position as a world leader, according to North Dakota governor and Republican presidential candidate Doug Burgum.
But “clean” doesn’t necessarily mean having everyone switch to electric vehicles.
“If you really cared about the environment, you’d want to have every drop of energy produced here, you’d want to have every electron of base load produced here,” Burgum told the Nonpareil during a campaign swing through western Iowa on Wednesday. “Because we produce it cleaner and safer than anywhere else.”
Burgum criticized the Biden administration’s support for electric vehicles as being better for the environment by pointing out that many components of EV batteries are made in China, saying there are better ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“If you buy a battery from China, it’s being made in a plant that is almost certainly powered by coal,” Burgum said. “Or we could take our coal plants like we do in North Dakota, and you take the CO2 off the coal plant through carbon sequestration, and we still have low cost, reliable base load, and it’s decarbonized.”
Burgum touted the safety of carbon dioxide pipelines, noting that his state has “moved 42 million tons of CO2 by pipeline … into Canada for enhanced oil recovery.”
“We’ve been doing (carbon dioxide sequestration) in North Dakota for a long time, very successfully and very safely, and there’s a lot of beneficial use to the public, including the fact that we’re going to save liquid fuels,” Burgum said.
Pumping carbon dioxide into the ground, where it helps push oil up toward the oil wells, creates cleaner burning fuel, Burgum said.
“The company injects CO2 into the ground, and these 1980 oil wells that were producing about 20% of their original production, they’re back up to 80% to 90% of original production,” Burgum said. “The CO2 stays in the ground, the oil comes out; when you refine the oil and burn it, it produces less CO2 than what stayed in the ground.”
Burgum thinks the safety concerns about carbon dioxide pipelines are overblown.
“I invite people to come to North Dakota and look at a pipeline that’s been running for 20 years, that’s moved 42 million tons, and has never had an incident,” he said.
Asked about the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s decision last month to deny a permit for Summit Carbon Solutions proposed carbon pipeline, Burgum declined to comment on that specific project.
In its decision, the commission wrote that Summit “failed to meet its burden of proof to show the (project) will produce minimal adverse effects on the environment and upon the welfare of the citizens of North Dakota.”
Burgum is one of nearly a dozen candidates vying to be the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee. In a field that includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Amb. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, anti-woke crusader Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and former President Donald Trump, Burgum is averaging less than 1% in national polls, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.
In order to qualify for the next Republican presidential debate on Sept. 27, candidates need to be polling at 3% or higher in two national surveys, or 3% in one national poll and 3% in polls of two different early-primary states: Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire or South Carolina.
Candidates will also need at least 50,000 donors, with 200 unique donors in 20 different states or territories.
Burgum polled at 3% in two mid-August state polls — in Iowa and New Hampshire — and has reached the donations goal, but he isn’t polling above 1% in any national surveys, according to polling data from RealClearPolitics.
Best of America PAC, a political action committee able to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money that supports Burgum, is spending $4 million in national advertising to boost the governor’s national profile and get him into the second debate, according to Politico.
Source: The Daily Nonpareil