The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set a warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, from pre-industrial levels, which will require a 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. IPCC says in the best case scenerio with a minimum of 1.5 degrees of warming, conditions will change beyond many organisms’ ability to adapt.

Knowing that government isn’t the end-all-be-all for enacting solutions to crises, for this week’s Ag and Energy Insight, we’re looking at how conservatives are forming a consolidated message on private industry as the path to climate solutions.

Last week, North Dakota’s Congressman Kelly Armstrong joined Congressman John Curtis of Utah along with more than 50 representatives to launch the Conservative Climate Caucus.

Armstrong tells KX that most republicans see Democrat’s regulatory efforts to tackle climate as overreaching, such as re-introducing the U.S. into the Paris Climate Accord, because it exempts China which burns more coal and has the greatest number of coal-fired power stations in the world.

Instead of tackling climate by means of a large centralized authority, Armstrong and Republicans argue local governments can handle regulation, and free-market innovation will drive realistic carbon solutions faster without putting U.S. energy industries at a competitive disadvantage.

Congressman Armstrong explains, “Technology neutral R&D. Allowing U.S. industries and U.S. businesses to move forward is how we are going to crack the climate code. It is not going to be some international group that is not holding the bad actors accountable, that’s just simply the truth.”

Armstrong points to North Dakota’s primacy in drilling carbon capture injection wells and the University of North Dakota’s Project Tundra as examples of how North Dakota, on the state level, is leading the way to a carbon-neutral energy future.

The Gulf of Mexico is the premium marketplace for Bakken crude oil.

Historically, North Dakota oil has exported to refineries in the Midwest, but more than a decade ago when the Bakken play started taking off, North Dakota’s industry leaders realized Midwest locations were not enough for North Dakota’s growing volume.

North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad explains the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is the Bakken’s direct connection to the Gulf of Mexico. With recent legal challenges to DAPL, The Gulf has acted as an outside pressure to the pipeline’s viability.

North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad explains that when DAPL was brought online it added about $2.77 dollars per barrel to the value of Bakken crude. The impact on state oil production tax revenue was an increase on average of $7.7 million dollars per month due to DAPL’s lower transportation costs and access to key market centers in the Gulf Coast. Kringstad adds that DAPL generated $187 million in additional oil production tax revenue during those first two years.

“North Dakota is a price taker in this economy in this commodities business. And, so whatever the market is doing in the Gulf Coast, that works it’s way up through the pipeline and transportation network to those royalty owners and producers in the state from a tax revenue standpoint,” explains Kringstad.

Morton County Extension Office is in full swing getting ready for their 4H Achievement Days.

Kids in Morton County have two weeks to enroll in their 4H projects. The Extension Office is recruiting volunteers to judge the exhibits, and every year brings in around 370 4-H’ers.

The exhibits include static exhibits on growing crops, as well as live horse and livestock exhibits. However, it’s not just for agricultural-related youth projects. Many kids located in Mandan and towns without an agricultural background can exhibit in STEAM-based activities, and a shooting sports program.

“The great success that 4H has had on different youth. Whether that’s just with public speaking skills, getting out of their shell, lot of different aspects because 4H helps to provide hands on real life experiences through the different projects, events, and activities that we have,” explained Morton County Agriculture & Natural Resources Extension Agent Renae Gress.

Follow this link to learn more and enroll your child at Morton County 4H Achievement Days.