North Dakota energy panel wants lawmakers to spend $1B for roads, bridges over next 2 years

A group representing North Dakota's various energy sectors is recommending the state spend almost $1 billion over the next two years on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

The 16-member EmPower North Dakota Commission is slated to pitch its recommendations Thursday to the Legislature's interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee.

The EmPower North Dakota Commission is comprised of representatives from a cross-section of the energy industry, including members representing coal, oil, refining, biofuels and electricity.

The panel also is suggesting that the Legislature speed spending for infrastructure needs in western North Dakota's oil producing region.

The group says in a report that North Dakota lawmakers have made "substantial progress" funding needs for areas impacted by energy development but it hasn't been enough.