Climate Change Presentation June 15 in Valley City

VALLEY CITY, ND (WWGO) – The presentation titled “Can North Dakota be carbon neutral by 2030? Governor Burgum’s Plan” has been postponed and will be presented Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m. at the Rhoades Science Center on the campus of Valley City State University in Valley City, ND. The event is sponsored by “What in the World Is Going On?” (WWGO.)

Tom Oakland, Business Development and Research Manager in the ND Department of Commerce, will be the guest speaker. Oakland has been involved in energy for most of his career, starting with a BS in mechanical engineering, he later worked at Minot Air Force Base as an energy manager. He continued his tenure in the power industry as a systems engineer for the DryFine system at the Coal Creek station. In 2020, he launched Automow of North Dakota, bringing robotic lawn mowers to North Dakota’s residential and commercial sectors. In 2021, Oakland began his position with the ND Department of Commerce.

Oakland will define what is meant by carbon neutral and identify ND’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. It will list carbon sequestration projects on the horizon in ND and what plans are underway to reduce the carbon footprint associated with agriculture. , while supporting our farmers. It will list who is on the governor’s team advising him on carbon issues and explain how the state will transition to electronic vehicles (EVs), along with the timeline. He will share information on the energy sources that will be used for the increase in electricity that will be needed for homes, electric vehicles, etc. and on assessed proactive ways to reduce the carbon footprint of home heating and cooling.

This is the fourth and final presentation in the series on climate change. More than 50 billion tons of greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere each year. We must aim for Zero in order to stop warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Statistics show us that 13.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 came from the United States when we only have 4.25% of the world’s population. The first presentation in March was given by Paul Jensen of CLEAN (Citizens Local Energy Action Network) in Fargo. He discussed the need to find transport-related alternatives and focused on electric vehicles. Nationally, transportation accounts for the largest amount of greenhouse gases in the United States, at 29%.

Other presentations discussed the value of oceans and wetlands in storing carbon, with the third presentation on Project Tundra asking whether carbon sequestration by a plant like this can be effective. As noted in a recent Forum news article, carbon capture projects such as this and others have “performed poorly and have been viewed as costly failures.” The question is whether this can work in North Dakota.

The presentation is sponsored by WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD? (WWGO) which is a VCSU campus and community group. WHAT IN THE WORLD began soon after 911 with the goal of addressing issues of local, national and international significance.

Everyone is invited to come learn about climate change at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15. The event is free. For more information, call 701-845-7321 or watch on Facebook.

Teresa H. Sadler