Energy vs. Environment

North Dakota can increase their production and sales of fossil fuels due to a new Trump administration executive order.

The regulations have been rolled back in order to allow oil and coal mining to become more widespread in an effort to boost the economy, but some have raised concerns about the environment.

Professor Adnan Akyuz, a climatologist at NDSU, noted because North Dakota has high percentages of agriculture around the state, the potential extra carbon could potentially be absorbed and have little to no impact and, provided enough crops are planted, may actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

However, Akyuz also touched on the renewable energy potential North Dakota has to offer such as wind and solar power, which would be worth investigating along side the energy sources currently in place.

Akyuz said two areas states should focus on in terms of energy sources is reducing CO2 from the atmosphere and creating less CO2 to begin with.

Jack Norland, an associate professor in NDSU’s School of Natural Resource Science, said the production of oil is based on the price of oil and coal production takes several years, so any economic change that could be seen will not be seen immediately. Norland also said this will have “no bearing on the rest of the world.”

Calla Harper, a junior in the College of Business and student senator representing the residence halls, expressed North Dakota has recently experienced a decrease in their oil income, which leads to less funds going to higher education.

She also said with the Environmental Protection Agency regulations up in the air, the freedom of movement the oil and coal industries now have could open the door for more income. On the flip side, she said, if overseas oil remains a lesser cost to the U.S. no chance will occur and the west side of the state could be hurt.

Jared Melville, a junior studying business administration and political science as well as an associate justice on the student court, said the Trump Administration’s rollback on environmental regulations happened in “extensive support of the energy industry” due to previous limitations on account of the protection of the environment.

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