BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Wednesday, President Biden announced $2.3 billion in new funding to assist communities facing extreme heat and to bolster the offshore wind industry. According to White House officials, this is the first of a series of moves the president plans to take on climate.
North Dakota energy industry officials say the president’s actions likely won’t impact the state. But Transmission Authority Director John Weeda does say, “offshore wind is very expensive compared to North Dakota wind.”
As for North Dakota’s delegation, they think the president’s agenda should be aimed elsewhere.
”These are not the issues that are concerning people today. What’s concerning people about energy today is having enough of it and being able to afford it. And the ideas that the president is pushing means that we’ll have less of it and it’ll cost a lot more,” said Senator Kevin Cramer.
Still, some people think it’s high time the president took action on climate change.
”The longer we delay acting on climate change, at this point, the more money we’re going to have to spend in the future to mitigate it, or we might not be able to at all,” said Scott Skokos, executive director of the Dakota Resource Council.
And President Biden himself has said if Congress fails to act, the burden must fall on him.
”As president, I have a responsibility to act with urgency and resolve when our nation faces clear and present danger. And that’s what climate change is about,” said President Biden.
Last week, Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak testified that while the president’s larger goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy might be achievable, it will be expensive and could have “serious consequences” if done too quickly.
Biden’s executive action comes in amid record-setting heat waves around the country, and comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision that limited the EPA’s abilities to regulate, a decision that many in North Dakota celebrated.
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