ND Energy Leaders Concerned About Obama's Climate Plan - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Energy Leaders Concerned About Obama's Climate Plan

Bismarck, ND -

President Obama revealed his goals for climate policy last week.

But North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says his idea of what the plan should look like is much different.

Hoeven says President Obama's energy goals will mean less energy production and increased costs for energy companies and consumers.

Hoeven says, "The President a week ago today came out with major pronouncements that create more regulation in energy production, which is the wrong approach."

Hoeven is meeting with North Dakota energy companies to voice his concerns, lay out his plan and hear how President Obama's recent speech is already affecting their planning.

"He's proposing more regulation which will prevent investment that will produce more jobs in the energy economy and you don't get the improvements in environmental stewardship that we continue to lead the world," says Hoeven.

Hoeven says Obama's goals could force many coal plants to shut down, reducing energy production.

A fear echoed by Basin Electric CEO Andy Serri...

"My concern was it has the effect of paralysis of construction of any new coal plant. And puts in peril existing coal facilities in our state and country. We have a need now and we need a comprehensive energy policy," says Serri.

Energy companies say the uncertainty has them holding off on making improvements or investments.

In the past, complying with regulations has meant significant costs for small environmental gains.

Big Stone I for example spent $405 million to comply with regional haze regulations.

Customers share of the cost, $11,000...

"20% of families budget goes to energy costs. Some can't afford higher priced energy. It impacts everybody who hears what we are talking about today," says Serri.

Hoeven does deliver some good news...

He says the reality of the Keystone Pipeline is getting closer...

Hoeven says, "I think we have put enough pressure on him to approve this and possibly by August. I think that's because the Administration knows if they turn it down. We have enough votes in the Senate to get it approved. This is a huge issue for energy independence and North Dakota."

Hoeven is pushing Obama and Congress to adopt a states first approach to developing energy resources.

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