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North Dakota leaders laud first underground carbon storage facility

© iStock - tumsasedgars
Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) - North Dakota lawmakers lauded a Richardton, North Dakota company as it injected its first carbon into storage facilities Monday.

Red Trail Energy is the first company in the nation to capture the carbon from ethanol and store it underground, according to North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. The Industrial Commission approved the capture of 180,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from Red Trail's corn-based ethanol facility in October. The carbon dioxide is injected into the Brook Creek Formation on property owned by the company.

"This is a huge milestone we all should celebrate," U.S. Senator Kevin Kramer said in a news release. "North Dakota had the foresight to secure Class VI primacy in 2018 under the Trump EPA, which laid the groundwork for carbon capture projects like this."

Burgum set a goal in 2021 to make the state carbon neutral by 2030.

"This project and similar carbon capture, utilization and storage projects currently in the works will allow CO2 to be safely stored deep underground for generations to come and extracted if needed as current and future uses of carbon are developed," Burgum said in a news release. "North Dakota continues to lead with innovation, not regulation, and advancements such as this will help us enhance national security and reduce reliance on foreign energy sources, protect the environment and bring down energy prices for consumers."