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GOP leadership introduces bill to create ND Clean Sustainable Energy Authority

BISMARCK – House Republican Caucus Leader Glenn Bosch, R-Bismarck, has introduced a bill in the North Dakota Legislature to create a Clean Sustainable Energy Authority.

The authority will support the development of projects and technologies that work to advance energy production while creating a clean and sustainable energy future.

If passed, the bill would establish North Dakota as a world leader in the production of clean, sustainable energy and diversifies and grows the state’s economy, according to sponsors. The Clean Sustainable Energy Authority would be modeled after other authorities under the N.D. Industrial Commission The authority’s 15 members (seven voting and eight ex-officio non-voting) would establish and develop a Clean Sustainable Energy Program, make recommendations to the Industrial Commission for grant awards and loan approvals and propose comprehensive environmental, social and governance policy to the North Dakota Legislature.

“North Dakota has extremely clean energy, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to reduce emissions, decrease flaring and provide for a clean and sustainable energy future. HB 1452 builds on this hard work and sets a framework for the state acting in partnership with private industry to fund research, demonstration and development projects that bring new and emerging technologies into commercial use,” Bosch said. “This new authority will help us ensure that North Dakota can be a leading producer of energy while minimizing environmental impacts and attracting investment.”

Environmental, social and corporate governance has been a hot topic in recent months. The term refers to a set of criteria used for measuring the sustainability and societal impact of a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Investors are increasingly applying these non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify risks and growth opportunities. The bill would give North Dakota the opportunity to establish that criteria in a workable manner for its energy industry and highlight the state’s ability to successfully operate an “all of the above” clean energy strategy.

Sen. Jessica Bell, R-Beulah, who is the environmental manager for North American Coal, praised the bill.

“North Dakota has an opportunity to show the world how to produce energy in a clean and sustainable manner while protecting our environment and continuing growth opportunities for future generations. This program paves the way to the commercialization of research that is ready to be launched,” Bell said.

Sen. Dale Patten, R-Watford City, who helped craft the legislation, stated, “The Clean Sustainable Energy Authority will ensure that research and development of 21st Century technologies will be used to advance low emissions and maintain minimal footprint energy production in North Dakota. Legacy items such as this also ensure a secure future for North Dakota.”

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