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Burgum: ND 'Carbon Neutral' by 2030

Gov. Doug Burgum has a goal: to make North Dakota “carbon neutral” by 2030.

Burgum used the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference to issue that challenge.

In an interview after his speech, Burgum said it would not be done by regulation, but by innovation, and by driving capital investments to the energy and agriculture industries.

"Whether it's just storing carbon underground, putting more carbon in for enhanced oil recovery -- in that we put more carbon in than the carbon comes from burning that oil, or the synergies between ethanol and coal, with greenhouses where we can put carbon into enhanced growing areas, we can do this," Burgum said.

The Governor said the state will accomplish this using new technology, as well as existing technology.

"We've talked about flaring for decades," Burgum said. "Now there are companies that are capturing the flared gas on-site, converting that right there into electricity, and then driving containers full of data servers," Burgum said. "They're using that technology to mine bitcoins, or help power other cloud applications."

Burgum said that's another area where we can do conversion of carbon, and turn it into something useful.

Burgum also said the state has the geology for carbon storage. He said North Dakota is "uniquely positioned" to reduce emissions.

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