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Fighting Climate Change May Offer Economic Opportunities for North Dakota

July 8, 2008

Bismarck, ND - Fighting climate change may have some extra economic benefits for North Dakota. The state's Congressional delegation, the governor, and other top leaders are coming together in Bismarck this week to talk about the possibilities at the Prairie Climate Stewardship Conference.

Organizer Brad Crabtree with the Great Plains Institute says the groundbreaking event is bringing together
policymakers, educators, business and industry officials, as well as agricultural producers, sportsmen, conservationists and people of faith, all to discuss climate change solutions.

"It is important to look at the big picture and focus on not only reducing the amount of energy we use, but using that energy in smarter ways. Even with dramatic increases in renewable energy sources and tremendous progress in energy efficiency, America will still be relying on coal-based electricity generation. It is imperative that we start managing CO2 emissions and utilize technologies allowing us to capture CO2 and store it underground."

Crabtree says with both presidential candidates supporting climate change legislation, it's just a matter of time before states like North Dakota will be mandated to reduce their carbon footprints.

"The stakes for North Dakota in that debate are huge, but we need to move beyond just the policy discussion. We all need to start thinking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and acting individually to that end. Government will play a huge role but we can't rely solely on government. It's going to take people deciding that this is a priority and working together on it."

The two-day conference begins Thursday and will focus on ways the state can be a good steward of the climate while taking advantage of opportunities in renewable energy, advanced coal technologies with CO2 capture, and energy efficiency.

More information on the Prairie Climate Stewardship Conference can be found at
www.prairiestewardship.org.

Dick Layman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - ND