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Burgum, Republicans denounce Biden’s methane reduction plan

November 3, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Gov. Doug Burgum said the way to address methane emissions is through innovation, not further regulation which he says will only drive energy production overseas.

Burgum and other Republicans in North Dakota have denounced Democratic President Joe Biden’s methane reduction plan which he announced at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland this week.

Biden pledged to work with the European Union and dozens of other nations to reduce overall methane emissions worldwide by 30% by 2030.

In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency would target reductions from existing oil and gas wells nationwide, rather than focus only on new wells as previous regulations have done.

Burgum says innovation is the way to make North Dakota carbon neutral by the end of the decade — a goal he announced last spring.

“The Biden administration should be allowing industry to reinvest in existing and future infrastructure to protect the environment and human health while also reducing regulatory costs,” the governor said Tuesday.

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Carbon neutrality involves striking a balance between CO2 released from within the state and the amount of emissions contained or offset in some way. Burgum envisions meeting the goal while maintaining robust oil and coal industries in North Dakota.

Environmental groups call methane reduction the fastest and most cost-effective way to slow the rate of global warming. Dakota Resource Council members in North Dakota applaud Biden’s plan, pointing to severe drought and rampant wildfires in the state this year as examples of the effects of climate change, the Bismarck Tribune reported.