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Tomorrow are the South Carolina primaries, and former VP Joe Biden leads in the poll, followed by winner of the first three contests, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer. Some Republican South Carolinians may vote for Sanders because they want closed primaries.

Commerce Commish Expects ND To Take Leading Energy Role

July 14, 2010

BISMARCK, N.D. - A template for North Dakota's energy future is laid out in 28 pages. A new report from EmPower North Dakota seeks to balance long standing technologies with new ones. State Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle says the panel examined several factors of both traditional and renewable energy sources.

"We get way down deep inside the industry and take a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and then we try to craft state policy that can help move the industry forward."

The new report gets some teeth from the state's already growing investments in technologies like ethanol and biodiesel, Goettle adds.

"We've built 350 million gallons worth of production capacity in this last five years. Biodiesel, ADM has the largest biodiesel facility that it owns in Velva, North Dakota."

Goettle says, at least in some industries, North Dakota should aspire to lead the pack.

"No matter which way it goes, not only in terms of energy development, but in terms of leading the way in technology, North Dakota's going to be a significant player in the country."

Among the report's recommendations: Doubling energy production from all sources in the next 15 years; building clean-coal electric generation plants; focusing on production of synthetic natural gas; and generating more electricity from renewables. Goettle is convinced that having an energy blueprint in place should also help attract new industry to the state and spur job creation in the process.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - ND