KHRT ND News – 11/29/21

KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 112921 – 0700
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota wants to extend the state’s abandoned well plugging program by tapping into $4 billion made available in the federal infrastructure bill for the purpose of cleaning up old oil and gas sites across the nation. The Bismarck Tribune reports funding could potentially come North Dakota’s way each year over the next decade to continue the work the Oil and Gas Division started in 2020 to clean up hundreds of wells.
North Dakota spent tens of millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid plugging more than 300 abandoned wells and reclaiming the sites over the past two years. The cleanup work is ongoing. State officials billed the program as a way to keep oil workers employed when the pandemic prompted a downturn in their industry, as well as a means to address the growing number of wells producers had abandoned.
State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said the state initially overestimated how quickly it could complete reclamation work during colder fall and winter weather. He said the additional funds available through the infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month could help North Dakota address the unfinished work.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – President Joe Biden is slated to visit a Twin Cities suburb this week to tout his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The White House announced Friday that Biden will visit Rosemount on Tuesday. The president has been making multiple stops around the country to highlight the infrastructure package. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the White House has projected the package will deliver $4.5 billion to Minnesota for highways, $800 million for public transportation and about $300 million for bridge work over a five-year span. The state also is in line for $680 million for water projects, at least $100 million for broadband expansion and about $297 million for airport infrastructure. Minnesota by about 7 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – The World Health Organization has urged countries not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over the new omicron variant. WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions. WHO praised South Africa for following international health regulations and informing WHO as soon as its national laboratory identified the omicron variant. Cases of the omicron variant popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders. The U.S. plans to ban travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries starting today.
TORONTO (AP) – Canada says it’s banning the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled through southern Africa in the last 14 days. That’s due to discovery of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus that has stoked worldwide fears. Government ministers also said Friday that all Canadians who have travelled to southern Africa in the last 14 days will be tested on arrival and must quarantine until they get a negative test result. Those who have arrived in the last 14 days are also asked to quarantine and get a COVID-19 test. Officials say there’s no indication of any cases in Canada.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – As demand for renewable energy surges, “community solar” installations are popping up around the U.S. They’re larger than home rooftop systems but smaller than utility-scale complexes. Community solar gardens are located atop buildings, or on abandoned factory grounds and farms. Customers subscribe to portions of energy sent to the grid and get credits that reduce their electricity bills. The model attracts people who can’t afford rooftop solar or live where it’s not accessible, such as renters. More than 40 states have at least one community solar operation. But in some places, growth is hampered by debates over who should be allowed to enter the market.

(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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