Quartet of New Bills Support Renewable Energy in North Dakota
Renewable fuels bills may produce the biggest news from the session. A new, multi-interest group representing wind, ethanol, biomass and biodiesel, called the North Dakota Renewable Energy Partnership, is a key player this year and supports four bills.
The partnership's own bill - HB1308 - is carried by Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Wolford. It would require the state to use biodiesel in all of its own diesel vehicles and would require the state to use wind energy for 10 percent of electricity. It also would form a commission that would make grants for renewable energy development projects, similar to the way the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission does for agriculture, but would add "venture capital investments," low-interest loans and loan buy-downs. Under this bill, the commission would be funded by $12 in general funds. It would establish a Renewable Energy Office within the Commerce Department.
The North Dakota Renewable Energy Partnership hired Joe Cichy Jan. 18, a Bismarck, N.D., lawyer, to handle its lobbying chores for the session.
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