North Dakota: Flexibility for Emissions Cuts?

North Dakota Fracking
North Dakota Fracking

North Dakota officials are hopeful that they have some flexibility for complying with the EPA's new emissions-reducing Clean Power Plan.

Related: New Ruling to Slash Methane Emissions

In August, the Obama Administration revealed a plan designed to cut methane emissions. The details of the regulations would require that North Dakota must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030. This is an 11% increase from the original goal from 2005.

A group of North Dakota’s political leaders, including Governor Dalrymple and U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, met with Environmental Protection Agency administrators this week to voice their concerns over how this ruling with affect their state. The group claims that the jump in the emissions reduction goal unfairly targets North Dakota, with Heidi Heitkamp calling the changes "irresponsible".

Inforum reported that, "When the delegation asked why the percentage of North Dakota’s emissions reduction had been increased so drastically, Heitkamp said McCabe answered that the EPA changed the rule to 'accommodate regional concerns' with how much emissions are produced by going off of national averages."

The outcome of the meeting was promising and delegation members left with hopes that the EPA will allow for some flexibility. EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones said that the final rule gives states up to three years to submit a final plan.