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Doug Burgum — the energy-centric candidate

Burgum campaigning in Iowa last month. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is running an energy-centric campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Why it matters: Burgum is campaigning on his all-of-the-above approach to energy in his state — including lower-carbon fuel and power generation.

  • It's a pitch that he hopes can set his dark-horse candidacy apart from far better-known figures like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, who have primarily railed against EVs and renewables.

Details: Burgum's efforts to make a name in Iowa and New Hampshire include an ad blitz in Iowa and New Hampshire with a recent $1.2 million buy focused on Biden and fuel imports.

What he's saying: Burgum told Jael that energy is key to the other two planks of his campaign — the economy and national security.

  • "Right now, we're the only candidate that I know of that's talking about it at every stop," he said.

Burgum spends lots of time on "clean energy," endorsing nuclear power, biofuels, hydrogen fuel and decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors like steel.

  • "Low-cost, reliable clean energy, which we make in the U.S. better than anywhere in the world ... this is the thing that allows our economy to thrive," he said.
  • He also touted his state's efforts to be carbon-neutral by 2030 without new regulations on fossil fuels. His tagline? "Innovation, not regulation."
  • “When we do good things in North Dakota, good policies, yeah, other people copycat what we do. When people see good ideas being spread, that’s a good thing," Burgum said.

What they're saying: "Doug is one of these guys that can explain in detail how you get to net neutral in a producing state like North Dakota," Sen. Kevin Cramer told the Washington Post last month. "I just think he's the kind of voice that can lead in this space as a Republican."

The bottom line: Many GOP voters don't know Burgum. But if he manages to find a way onto a debate stage, his energy focus could help him stand out.

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