Welcome To The Future Of North Dakota!

Clean, affordable, sustainable, home grown energy here we come!

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you love this state as much as I do.  I’m more optimistic than ever about reaching our states potential for making this an even better place to live, work and play. 

There are many of us that have a passion for conservation and development of clean, affordable, sustainable, home grown energy.  It’s not only great for our area economy, it’s great for national security and our environment. 

I am a Fargo City Commissioner and chair Fargo’s Renewable Energy and Conservation Committee that looks for ways to improve our city’s conservation methods and reduce our energy costs. 

We also study and implement efficient ways to develop our many raw materials like garbage and sewer waste into cleaner and lower cost energy to make the best use of those resources that used to be considered waste.

I am also one of three members of the Executive Committee of the North Dakota Renewable Energy Partnership.  This group was an idea of ND Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnsons and was established in 2003.  It is a coalition of 57 diverse companies, utilities like Cass County Electric, Xcel Energy, Ottertail Power, government agencies like the Bank of ND, ND Dept of Commerce Office of Renewable Energy, ND Agriculture Dept, growers like the ND Soy Bean Council, ND Corn Growers, small companies and individuals that share a vision for a cleaner, and even more productive North Dakota.

The NDREP is developing legislation to help our residents invest in and benefit from the development of our renewable resources to provide another avenue of generating  revenue without raising taxes to fund those things that will provide the best economic development and improve our way of life; good public education, human services, develop and deliver clean water in a sustainable manner.

Read the renewable energy survey from 600 North Dakotans co-sponsored by the ND Renewable Energy Partnership and the ND Office of Renewable Energy.

These are a few examples of what Fargo is doing to promote the development and use of renewable energy. 

Fargo’s landfill will be sorting and bundling trash by the end of this month and collect the methane to provide all it’s energy needs plus be a net energy producer, selling methane and electricity.

    

I’m glad Mayor Walaker went to Alaska to see some effects of global warming firsthand.  Former Mayor Furness signed a resolution to combat global warming at last year’s National Mayors conference. 

 I think it’s also vital to our economic development growth to develop all our energy resources in a clean, sustainable manner. 

Some folks have the impression renewable energy cannot stand on it’s own, like using only wind to power all of Fargo for instance.  The idea is not to use wind power alone (or any single type of energy source) , the idea is to integrate many different types of environmentally responsible energy sources (including clean use of fossil fuels) and production processes so what ever is most available or efficient at the time will be used to sync with each other.   Merging renewable energy with traditional fossil fuels not only extends those non-sustainable resources, it often makes them burn cleaner.

Just consider if we just invest a fraction of what we spend as a country overseas protecting our oil rights to instead help fund development of our renewable and fossil fuels here in ND?  Imagine what we could do to promote more conservation efforts as well as clean, energy independent projects right in our back yard? 
    
Gerald Groenwald of the EERC has estimated the true cost of a barrel of oil factoring in these type of costs is over $600 a barrel. That’s a real big subsidy, and a pittance compared to the lost lives in the name of protecting those "rights" in the Mid-east.   Why we shouldn’t we do all we can to promote growing our own sustainable energy?
   
Here’s to more clean, affordable, sustainable, home grown energy! (C.A.S.H. is an easy acronym to remember the phrase)
Thanks for visiting this site, please come back often and let me know what you think and let’s have some fun with it.
    
Here’s the survey of 600 North Dakotans responses on questions about renewable home grown energy. 

5 Responses

  1. Mike Williams

    Thanks Linda!
    Your enthusiastic support of these projects along with your helping with the design of “Big Green” wrap on our Soy Bean bus is a big part of making these projects go forward in Fargo.

    You’re right, there are many exciting projects coming to fruition. I already have a lot of material on hand to post along with new recent events.

    I believe we’ll see some good renewable energy legislation coming our way this session. It’s great to be able to point to our landfill/energy project here in Fargo as another example of making the best use of our resources, and avoid retail energy costs and generate some new revenue.

    If we do this right, investments of some of our new energy revenues towards developing our vast renewable resources responsibly can help to generate new revenue to help provide more state funding for education and could be used to help reduce our property tax burden.

    The future’s so bright, we’ll have to wear shades! Thanks again, Mike

  2. Senator Tim Mathern

    What a wonderful optimistic web site!

    I am on the Bush Foundation and we have been funding conversions of diesel buses becouse of the brain damage children suffer from fumes, might bio be safer?

    Go for it, lets change the world through RENEW ND.

  3. Mike Williams

    Senator Mathern,

    I hear you, let’s do it!

    We are already running a 5% blend of Biodiesel in our entire Fargo city fleet.

    We ran a 20% blend all through the warm season. The buses ran great and smelled a bit like french fries when they drove by.

    The bus riders really like knowing we’re using home grown energy to power the city buses. Did you know the Metro Area Transit served over 1,000,000 riders last year? We’ve doubled from about 500,000 riders in 2001.

    The college folks love it, less worries about gas money, parking and they have more time to study while riding the bus!

    I look forward to working with you during the session. Take care and enjoy the Walrus while in Bismarck. I love their food! Mike

  4. Senator Carolyn Nelson

    Thanks for the great information and it pertains to us – not some place miles away. Keep up the good work, I’ll be reading you regularly.

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