Hennen: The CO2 Boom

Columnist Scott Hennen writes that North Dakota Gov. Burgum likens the state's burgeoning CO2 industry to the creation of the Bakken in western North Dakota.

Scott Hennen.jpg
Columnist Scott Hennen
We are part of The Trust Project.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is excited about a "giant new industry" that is coming to North Dakota: The CO2 industry, which includes enhanced oil recovery and sequestration. He says this new industry will save other major industries, including, "Our base load power coal industry, our ag industry with biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, ethanol, biodiesel all of which drives up crop prices and land values."

The governor said those who dismiss the CO2 industry have no interest in retaining the coal, oil and gas, or ag industries, which make up the three biggest industries across the state of North Dakota. Burgum expects a “game changer” because of the amount of capital North Dakota will receive to create a new industry around CO2. He likens the CO2 industry being similar to the creation of the Bakken in western North Dakota.

“North Dakota is literally the No. 1 state to be able to do this,” he said.

Former President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency granted the state "primacy," which allows North Dakota to regulate this industry instead of the federal government. And we have very unique geology. Sen John Hoeven calls it a "geologic jackpot" to allow for sequestration of the CO2. Sen. Kevin Cramer has recruited CEOs from some of the giants of the financial services companies to visit the state and see the potential it has.

Burgum sees the potential this industry could bring to North Dakota, including an economic boost to the state. Burgum says CO2 would bring a competitive advantage to the state and benefit more than just the state as a whole – it could benefit landowners, those working in agriculture, and those working in the oil and gas industry. “We can decarbonize these industries, and literally get paid to do it,” he said.


Hoeven, in a recent opinion piece in the Washington Times newspaper, touted a future with carbon capture, utilization and storage, saying these efforts “have helped make North Dakota the ideal location to implement this critical energy technology, both for renewable and traditional energy sources. Currently, there are at least five CCUS projects either operating or in development in North Dakota, including at ethanol facilities run by Red Trail and Blue Flint, the Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant, Coal Creek Station and Project Tundra at the Milton R. Young Station.”

North Dakota has also laid the foundation for success in its creation of the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, which is chaired by North Dakota’s Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. The authority currently has several CO2 projects it is working on.

These are exciting times for the future of North Dakota as the CO2 industry expands here. If the CO2 industry is anything like the boom in the Bakken, it means generations of benefits will follow for land owners and our economy. The woke world in which we live is searching for a solution to man-made carbon. We may have just found a way to beat them at their own game.

Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.


Opinion by Scott Hennen
Scott Hennen hosts the statewide radio program “What’s On Your Mind?” On AM 1100 “The Flag”, KFYR AM 550, AM 1090 KTGO “The Flag” and AM 1460 KLTC. Email him at

What to read next
"Do we want conservatism to be seen as a pragmatic set of principles for balancing our collective need for a government with the rights of individuals? Or the gospel of some fire-and-brimstone bible-thumper who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't cotton to?"
Columnist Roxane B. Salonen writes, "Only time can heal the great loss we feel when our loved ones die—and even that, imperfectly. But there is something deeper, and truer, than what we can hold in this world. It is love. And the love of a mother does not end at death."
Jenny Schlecht explains how a "where are you" call led to an evening of protecting barn cats and hunting raccoons.
Columnist Jim Shaw offers critical remarks after North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer voted against the Respect for Marriage Act. "Hoeven and Cramer are using religion as a cover to justify bigotry and discrimination," Shaw writes. "History will not be on their side."