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ND's Brad Crabtree nominated for Department of Energy post

If approved, Crabtree, from Ashley, N.D., would become assistant secretary for fossil energy and carbon management for the Biden administration.

Brad Crabtree

WASHINGTON — A North Dakotan has been nominated for an important position in the Department of Energy.

Brad Crabtree has been named President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary for fossil energy and carbon management, the White House announced Thursday, Sept. 2.

Crabtree, of Ashley, N.D., is vice president for carbon management at Minneapolis-based Great Plains Institute. He is also the director of the Carbon Capture Coalition, based in Washington.

“It is the honor of my life to be nominated by President Biden for the position of assistant secretary of fossil energy and carbon management,” Crabtree said in a written statement. “The President and Secretary (of Energy Jennifer) Granholm have committed to an ambitious portfolio of carbon management policies and programs in the American Jobs Plan to meet our climate obligations, create high-wage energy, industry and manufacturing jobs and provide environmental and other benefits to communities."

Crabtree, who has nearly three decades experience in energy and climate policy, oversees GPI’s carbon management portfolio.


Carbon capture and storage is a way of reducing carbon emissions, which could be key to helping to tackle global warming.

Rolf Nordstrom, GPI's president and CEO, praised Crabtree's leadership and expertise.

“Brad has spent nearly two decades at GPI, working to build broad consensus around energy policies that meet our climate obligations and maintain a strong economy - and then see those policies enacted. He has played an outsized role in making carbon capture in all its forms part of the nation’s arsenal of emissions reductions strategies that also bring economic opportunity,” Nordstrom said in a news release. “The phrase ‘uniquely qualified’ gets over-used, but in this case it fits. We believe Brad Crabtree is the best choice for this post, based on his demonstrated leadership, expertise and broad network of relationships across the country, the energy sector, and across the aisle.”

Among the initiatives that Crabtree has championed:

  • He helped launch the State Carbon Capture Work Group, a 16-state initiative first convened in 2015 to foster commercial deployment of carbon capture and carbon dioxide transport infrastructure.
  • He led efforts to establish the Industrial Innovation Initiative last year in partnership with the World Resources Institute. WRI brings together industrial firms, non-governmental organizations, unions and state officials from Midwestern and Gulf Coast states to advance policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions in key industries to achieve net-zero emissions.
  • He coordinated energy policy advisory groups for the Midwestern Governors Association and facilitated the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord Advisory Group.
  • He co-directed Powering the Plains, GPI’s original flagship project, developing a comprehensive, 50-year regional blueprint for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced coal technologies.
  • He led overseas delegations of U.S. policymakers and private sector leaders to learn about carbon management, renewable energy technologies and policy in other nations.

Crabtree earned a bachelor's degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in history from Johns Hopkins University.

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