Burgum gives North Dakota's electric vehicle plan the cold shoulder – InForum

BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum criticized the idea of ​​electric vehicles in North Dakota as the state Industrial Commission approved funding for a regional electric vehicle plan, at least for now.

“We know that electric vehicles and cold temperatures simply don’t mix,” said Burgum, one of three members of the commission.

The Commission was asked to allocate $375,000 for the Regional Resiliency Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The money will come from the renewable energy fund.

The request was made by the Energy and Environmental Resource Center at the University of North Dakota. It works with groups in other states and utility companies.

It would be a four-state plan led by North Dakota that also includes Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota.

The plan is to address the unique needs and challenges of developing reliable electric vehicle infrastructure in the region.

The commission asked for more information on the regional study on Tuesday, April 30, and deferred the item to next month's meeting. In particular, more information was requested about how much money the other states are contributing to the plan.

Gov. Doug Burgum

The total price of the plan is $1.875 million and will be funded in part by the Federal Ministry of Energy and Transportation.

Burgum said his interactions with federal regulators show they don't understand the limitations of electric vehicles in a cold climate.

He said federal incentives are artificially inflating demand for electric vehicles, while at the same time federal policy is making it harder for baseload power providers like coal-fired power plants in North Dakota to provide affordable energy.

He predicted blackouts and blackouts for years to come.

“If this report identifies all of the problems associated with the current plan, I would be interested in funding,” Burgum said.

He was also critical of Minnesota, which adopted a carbon-free energy standard last year that requires Minnesota utilities to transition to 100% carbon-free electricity sources by 2040, including sources from other states. The Industrial Commission plans to submit comments to Minnesota regulators on implementation of the new rule. Commissioners are also considering a possible court challenge to Minnesota's regulation.

According to the North Dakota Lignite Energy Council, more than half of the electricity generated in North Dakota goes to out-of-state customers, and most of that supply goes to Minnesota.

“They don’t want some of our electrons anymore,” Burgum said after 2040. “That’s the ongoing battle.”

The North Dakota Department of Transportation has its own electric vehicle infrastructure program that receives nearly $26 million in federal funding. The program includes a networking database and a virtual networking event on May 16th.

The commission also approved a permit for XTO Energy to test various techniques to improve oil recovery at a group of wells along the Little Missouri River.

Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms noted that the parent company of

Helms said developing improved oil recovery is critical to extending the life of North Dakota's oil fields.

“This is a really important project to move this forward,” Helms said. “We currently have three projects underway testing three different technologies. This will bring a fourth technology innovation to market from a company the size of ExxonMobil.”

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