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Congress Looks at Ways to Pay for Kicking the Fossil Fuel Habit

March 12, 2009

Bismarck, ND – One of the hang-ups in switching from old fashioned fossil fuels to more renewable fuels is the cost. But a funding package expected to be on the table soon in Congress would help states like North Dakota on the pathway to change.

Joe Mendelson, global warming policy director for the National Wildlife Federation, says, in North Dakota the future is clean, renewable energy.

"North Dakota is the first in terms of future wind potential, and given its agricultural base, can be a place of the next generation of clean biofuels."

While critics say bio fuels need to be able to survive without government help, Mendelson says making the transition will reduce greenhouse gases and would result in a shift to a new economic model; one he says is worth the effort.

"When we transition, it’s not necessarily going to be easy, but we can use some of the money we get through a cap-and-trade system to help make sure consumers don’t bear the brunt of this."

Mendelson says, although oil prices are down at the moment, more price spikes are inevitable until sustainable clean energy technologies like wind and solar are in place.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND