The North Dakota oil boom has some potential bad news for home and business owners in the Valley. But, the experts also say, it has a far greater potential to create economic and environmental benefits for everyone.
Folks from electrical cooperatives across the Country gathered in Grand Forks today to talk about energy.
The western North Dakota oil boom is even creating a boom in other businesses that produce energy. Basin Electric says it will have to produce an additional one-thousand mega-watts of electricity over the next few years.
Mary Miller, Basin Electric: "One thousand megawatts alone is just to serve the Bakken area. To put that into perspective that is enough power… 1,000 megawatts is enough power to roughly serve 800-thousand homes."
Miller says short term, that could mean an increase in your home's electric bill, because they'll have to build more generation plants.
However, the experts say for the long term, the North Dakota oil boom could create fantastic opportunities for the environment and the economy for everyone across North Dakota.
Gerry Groenewold, Energy & Environmental Research Center: "The synergies that are possible between an oil industry, a renewable industry and a coal industry all working together… which would be a phenomenal package.
Energy wealth is already funding a major EERC project, where companies that use coal, oil or gas would be paid to capture Co2 greenhouse gas. It would clean up the atmosphere and the Co2 would be pumped into the ground to release more oil.
Groenewold: "It's working to help cleanup things and do it in a way that is financially incentivized, instead of seen as a tax on the system… turning Co2 into a viable, salable commodity."
Plus, Groenewold says there's also the possibility of much more wealth for eastern North Dakota, as major manufacturers of things like pipe, consider setting up shop here.
Groenewold says he believes the oil boom in North Dakota is here to stay… for the next 40 to 50-years.