Recognizing American Wind Energy Week in North Dakota

As we recognize American Wind Energy Week across the country, we at North Dakotan’s for Comprehensive Energy Solutions are reflecting on the importance of wind energy in North Dakota.

A drive on Highway 25, along the rolling plains, creates a perfect picture of North Dakota’s energy story. Coal has been king in this region for decades and yet looking to the west, you see energy sources displayed in tandem … a wind farm located within the same view of a coal power plant. And as far as the eye can see to the west of that, is the edge of the Bakken where wind also contributes to North Dakota’s diverse energy mix. 

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ND For All EnergyComment
A Welcome Change to the Process for Energy Developments

The process by which energy projects are permitted in North Dakota is important and should improve following the 2019 Legislative Session.  Energy projects often fall within the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s authority, whether it’s a gas-plant, a refinery (Davis), a pipeline (DAPL), a transmission line, or a windfarm.  North Dakota places the responsibility for evaluating and siting those facilities with the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is guided by North Dakota law.

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Permitting Wind Energy Developments

Wind energy developments don’t just appear overnight. It’s a lengthy, informative process where people are encouraged to make their comments heard.

It is based upon the rule of law.  If the project meets local zoning ordinances and state law, it should be permitted.  Learn more about how it works.

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Wind Energy Development Benefits Rural Counties

For 30 years and counting, Governor’s and economic development officials have worked to diversify the economy and keep main streets alive in our rural communities.  Wind energy is a tremendous local economic opportunity that has been embraced by 27 of our 53 counties in North Dakota. Wind energy developments provide good jobs in small towns, where good jobs are sometime hard to come by. 

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ND For All EnergyComment
Property Rights – A Basic Freedom

Personal property rights are an essential element of America’s free enterprise system, and North Dakotans get angry when the government (or anyone else, for that matter) doesn’t respect this basic privilege.   Daryl Lies, President of the North Farm Bureau says it best, “Where does the end come when you start infringing on any property rights?”

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ND For All EnergyComment
Wind. A Prominent Part of North Dakota's Energy Mix

County commissioners and legislators are embracing wind energy developments with open eyes as a viable energy resource for today and tomorrow. We should continue to find policies and strategies to make the North Dakotas energy pie bigger, rather than suggest one sector should stop developing at all. Now that’s the right path for North Dakota.

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ND For All EnergyComment
Positive Impacts of Wind Energy Developments

Wind energy continues to show strong growth in North Dakota. Recently, five projects have been announced in Burke, Logan/Emmons, Dickey, Adams and Williams’s counties, totaling 1,000 megawatts in various stages of the permitting process. Pending the final Public Service Commission approval process, these counties will begin to see new sources of tax benefits once the projects are on-line and operational.

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North Dakota Game and Fish Guidelines Should Respect Landowner Rights

Last week, during the Natural Resources Committee hearing, advocates for landowners expressed a growing concern about the NDGF guidelines impeding development. The Landowners Association of North Dakota, ND Farm Bureau, ND Farmers Union, ND Grain Growers and ND Agriculture Commissioner, Doug Goehring all expressed their opposition to the new guidelines, the impact upon property rights, and the unintended consequences of imposing a “one-size fits all” upon the North Dakota landscape.  The Utility Shareholders and ND Rural Electric Cooperatives objected to the guidelines as well.   

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Landowners Know Best

All across the state there’s a buzz about energy with an uptick in the oil and gas industry and the development of several new wind energy projects. “The Bakken is back” and wind energy is going strong, all providing strength and diversity for our economy, businesses and landowners. Within the last month, the Northwest Landowners Association and the Landowners Association of North Dakota held statewide meetings where landowner rights were the topic of discussion. Most energy developments simply don’t happen without the permission and involvement of the landowner.

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North Dakotans Don’t Need a New Tax

Policy makers are asking: Should there be a production or extraction tax on wind energy, just like oil and coal?  We don’t think so. Wind energy is a different type of industry. The wind energy industry already pays state and local taxes that will increase as the industry grows. In 2016 wind paid $7.7 million in local property taxes.  And wind pays millions in state sales tax that goes to the general fund (oil and coal do not).  We shouldn’t add new taxes that will hinder economic growth.

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What’s Good Policy?

The North Dakota Legislature isn’t meeting this year, but that doesn’t mean policy discussions are quiet. Legislative interim committees continue to meet, seeking information that will lead to policy changes during the 2019 legislative session … changes that affect everyone in North Dakota.

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