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Energy industry meetings with legislators postponed


Energy industry meetings with legislators postponed

Apr 16, 2024 | 12:20 pm ET
By Jeff Beach
Energy industry meetings with legislators postponed
Scott Hennen, left, speaks with North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on April 15, 2024, in Fargo at an event held by Friends of Ag & Energy. (Jeff Beach/North Dakota Monitor)

Legislator-only meetings with agriculture and energy executives have been postponed.

The meetings were set for Tuesday in Fargo and Bismarck and organized by the Friends of Ag & Energy group led by Scott Hennen of Fargo. 

Hennen said Tuesday they will be rescheduled to give legislators more notice.

The meetings were to include Harold Hamm of Continental Resources and Bruce Rastetter of Summit Agricultural Group and a co-founder of Summit Carbon Solutions

Summit Carbon Solutions is an Iowa-based company seeking to build a network of pipelines connecting ethanol plants in five states to an underground storage area in western North Dakota for carbon storage. 

Continental Resources is an oil and gas company that has invested in Summit Carbon Solutions. 

Rep. Austen Schauer, R-West Fargo, said he was told by Hennen on Monday to let legislators know the meeting had been canceled. 

The meetings gained attention last week when conservative blogger Dustin Gawrylow wrote about them after obtaining an email inviting legislators. 

The Bismarck Tribune followed up on that story, noting that not all legislators were invited and state money was not involved  

Friday, the Tribune reported that the meetings would be open to the media.

But Schauer said they were canceled Monday and noted the meetings had become “quite toxic.” 

Gawrylow also filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission. 

Hennen did not say when or where a rescheduled meeting would take place. 

Hennen said meetings with legislators happen all the time and nothing was unethical about it.

Monday, the Friends of Ag & Energy hosted a public seminar in Fargo that touted the benefits of carbon capture for the renewable fuels and fossil fuels industries. 

Hennen is a radio host and is a part of Fieldstone Group, which is included in a state-funded project to educate people on the benefits of carbon capture. 

The project is led by AE2S with $300,000 through the state’s Industrial Commission. It recently held a meeting with an advisory group that included Hennen and Lynn Helms, director of the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. 

Helms emphasized the importance of having a strategy and resources in place by the start of the 2025 legislative session. 

This story has been updated to correct Rastetter’s title.