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Op-Ed: Bill would ban wind energy for two years in North Dakota

State Senator Dwight Cook, R-District 34, pulled a fast one by “Hog-Housing” S.B.2314, during the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee debate on February 17. Originally, the legislation proposed that North Dakota’s public service commission “supervise the rates of all public utilities.”

But Cook “Hog-Housed” the original bill, rewriting it with the addition of his amendment because in it’s original form, the bill was essentially “dead in the water” after having been fought by power companies, reports NDxPlains.

The new Nacelle Tower located on the west lawn of the National Energy Center of Excellence on the BS...

The new Nacelle Tower located on the west lawn of the National Energy Center of Excellence on the BSC campus was dedicated in October 2016 as an aide in training wind technicians.
Bismarck State College

North American Wind Power writes that Cook’s amendment seeks to “amend and reenact sections 17-04-01, 17-04-03, and 17-04-05 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to termination of wind option agreements, wind easements and wind energy leases.”
For those who have never heard of a “Hog-House amendment,” it is a means of completely rewriting an original piece of legislation with the addition of the amendment. lawmakers use this move to slip something by the public, or often, for political motives, as this appeared to be. The full Senate will vote on the bill next week.

Republicans seem to be afraid of renewable energy
Senator Cook complains that the wind industry enjoys more favorable tax credits and gets by without the stiff regulations the coal industry has to face. As a matter of fact, he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: “Coal plants are shutting down and my assumption is wind generation has something to do with it.”

Well, Duh….. Where has Cook been hiding over the past few years? North Dakota has seven coal-fired power plants in operation, with one, owned by Minnesota’s Great River Energy, slated to shutter this year because of low prices in the regional energy market, reports the Washington Times.

Pouring money into new coal-fired power plants  a sector US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed t...

Pouring money into new coal-fired power plants, a sector US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to revitalise, no long makes economic sense according to experts

Almost 70 percent of electricity generated by the state’s coal-fired power plants is exported to over two million customers in surrounding states, while clean and renewable wind power generated more than 20.1 percent of North Dakota’s electricity from November 2015 through October 2016. North Dakota, along with Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Iowa are members of the “20 percent and up” club.

It is perplexing to think that GOP lawmakers want to crush the momentum renewable energy enjoys in this country. But given that the anti-clean energy movement is being funded by the petroleum industry and large foundations such as the Koch brothers, it is understandable.

After all, Cook, who received approximately $6,600.66 from energy-related committees during the 2016 election, had his amendment co-sponsored by eight other GOP lawmakers, including a few who have ties to the coal industry.

But the petroleum and coal industry is not just targeting wind and solar power. A Digital Journal story on Tuesday described the anti-EV movement funded by Big Oil and other entities going on in the U.S. The clean energy movement in this country is gaining momentum every day, and more so on a global scale and there is no rhyme or reason for stopping it.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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