Members of the
"I believe it's an important piece of the puzzle," commission member
Nisbet works with wind projects for
The EmPower North Dakota initiative was launched in the early 2000s with the goal of bringing stakeholders in the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors together. Its purpose was to develop a state energy policy focusing on various energy sectors working together rather than competing.
Nisbet said the data and recommendations for the study have come together over the past six months.
"We think the building blocks are in here," Nisbet said.
One of the study's recommendations is to pass an infrastructure funding bill within the first 30 days of the 2015 legislative session for oil-impacted counties. The idea would be to bid out major road projects early in the year to maximize the construction season.
In early 2013 lawmakers passed a
Nisbet said an interesting concept is the idea of creating a regional infrastructure authority. This authority would be set up in order to help guide development in oil patch hub cities as well as the four major oil-producing counties:
"It's a fairly new idea that would have to be vetted by
Nisbet said recommendations on continuing to fund and even increase dollars for research, development and workforce training is important to consider.
"We're enjoying a very strong and robust economy. Let's invest in our future," Nisbet said.
The study, authorized by
Fladeland said IHS Chemical was hired last year to conduct the study and the results appeared promising.
"Rather than send these products out of state, figure out ... how we could get into a niche market for them (here)," Fladeland said.
He said additional jobs and wealth could be created in
He said the study points out that the challenges of expanding into the markets are the cost and need for a skilled workforce.
The studies can be found at www.commerce.nd.gov.
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