Burgum’s big bet may bring North Dakota’s next big boom


MINOT, N.D. — In May, Gov. Doug Burgum set a goal for North Dakota to be a carbon-neutral state by 2030 without new regulations or mandates.

The announcement, made at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, of all places, induced a lot of cringing.

I was one. I liked the aspiration. I thought putting a clock on it was less wise. Arbitrary deadlines, as a matter of political rhetoric, often come back to bite those who make them.

Aspirations are one thing; reality is another.

Developments since then have suggested that Burgum might really be on to something meaningful. Something that could ease some of the struggles of North Dakota’s carbon-heavy industries while simultaneously creating new economic opportunities in our state.

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