Byron Dorgan

Carbon Dioxide Isn’t Just a Problem. It’s a Lucrative Product
America needs to invest in the next big thing — direct air capture and storage

OPINION — While some experts butt heads over how to slash global carbon emissions, others are experimenting with ways to suck already-emitted gas out of the atmosphere and either store it or roll it back into useful products.

This technology, called direct air capture and storage, is among several strategies that could revolutionize the energy industry and make cleaning up the environment an increasingly profitable enterprise.

Opinion: To Reinvent Rural Health Care, Ditch the ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Model
Geography shouldn’t be an impediment to quality care

As policymakers grapple over how to best deliver quality, affordable health care, they cannot ignore the unique challenges faced by the 46 million Americans living in rural areas.

Not only do rural residents rank worse than their urban counterparts on many health metrics such as obesity, tobacco usage and suicides, their communities also face shortages of health care workers and geographic challenges that make it more difficult to address these concerns.

Declassify Top Secret Pages of the 9/11 Commission Report
No justification for withholding the information, former Sen. Byron Dorgan writes

In the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, a bipartisan, independent commission was formed to do a comprehensive investigation, including tracking who was responsible.

In 2004, the commission issued its investigative report. However, 28 pages were labeled “Top Secret” by the Bush administration and were excluded from the published report. As a result, the American people have never learned the contents of the 28 pages, and they rightfully wonder, what are they hiding?

FCC Should Focus Broadband Internet Improvements on Rural Communities | Commentary

In the late 1800s, when wagon trains were traveling westward in America, they had a saying: “You don’t move ahead by leaving some behind.”

Focus on Biofuels Is Key to Renewable Energy Success | Commentary

I’ve always known where President Barack Obama stood on the issue of renewable fuels. He has consistently voiced his strong support going back to his days in the Senate, and he has continued that support in the White House. In a speech at an advanced biofuel refinery in Missouri on April 28, 2010, he summed up his position like this:

Group Purchases for Prescription Drugs Get Bad Rap | Commentary

Critical prescription drug shortages continue to plague American hospitals and health care providers and jeopardize patient access to many essential medicines. Although Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and the private sector have made progress toward a solution, shortages persist.

Drug shortages are a complex problem with many root causes, including manufacturing problems, quality issues and barriers to getting new suppliers on line when supply is disrupted. This is an element of a broader challenge in a changing and stressed health care system, and central to the solution will be group purchasing organizations, a little-known sector of the health care supply chain.

The Erosion of Freedom in Benin | Commentary

With the world’s attention focused on upheavals in the Middle East, from the terrible civil war raging in Syria to the overthrow of the Egyptian president, we shouldn’t overlook a presidential power-grab and human rights violations in another part of the world that is threatening the democracy of a strategically important country.

Benin, a small West African nation that unfortunately is sliding into dictatorship, has increasing abuses of human rights and rising hostility toward the West. But this is also a situation where modest actions by the United States — using the leverage of foreign aid — can help restore basic principles of law in a nation critical to regional stability.

Dorgan: FCC Should Modify Rule Unfair to Rural America

Last year’s news from Washington, D.C., was dominated by gridlock and rancid partisanship in Congress. Little was accomplished, and the American people lost faith that Congress can make the needed decisions to improve people’s lives.

In addition to being upset with Congress, other agencies in government were making decisions that have people concerned about their future.

Lott and Dorgan: We Must Unify Now for a New Energy Era

Recent events across the country and around the globe — from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to the Japanese nuclear crisis, from deep-water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to West Virginia coal mines to Pennsylvania natural gas shale fields — remind us that every form of energy has risks, costs, benefits and liabilities. 

Yet these events are indicative of much larger global trends, including:

Dorgan & Copps: Online Freedom Is Good for Democracy

The Internet was founded on the principle of free and open access. It has thrived on this openness to become a powerful force to expand economic opportunity, improve access to health care, advance education and foster civic discourse. The Internet is the ultimate democratic tool. Whether you are a major corporation, a concerned citizen in rural America or a small business on Main Street, anybody can go online to be heard and seen.

[IMGCAP(1)]But the continued openness of the Internet is in jeopardy.

Senate DPC’s Role Expands as It Begins New Decade

Sixty years ago this month, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee was established, after President Harry Truman signed the law that created it.

Since then, the DPC has researched issues, developed policy proposals, published reports on important legislation and policy issues, tracked roll call votes, provided legislative and policy support to Democratic Senate offices, and worked to promote Senate Democratic Caucus unity and cohesion.

Budget Deficit Must Be a Priority

With the start of the new fiscal year just days away — and only two of the 12 annual appropriations bills signed into law — the Senate will again face a mad scramble to complete its appropriations business. But despite the honest and good faith efforts of the Appropriations Committee’s leadership, we can forget about getting our work done on time. Instead, we will likely see a big omnibus appropriations bill. Once again, the process has gotten seriously off track.

Beyond the immediate task of completing the fiscal 2006 bills, though, there is other “unfinished” appropriations business that must be addressed. Specifically, Members of Congress need to get serious about confronting the growing crisis in the budget and appropriations process.

Congress Is a Sleeping Watchdog — But We Intend to Change That

In 1940, as it became more and more evident that the United States would soon be entering World War II, Congress began to prepare by appropriating $10 billion in defense contracts. Early the next year, stories of widespread contractor mismanagement surfaced.

A little-known Senator at the time, Harry S. Truman, responded by climbing into his car for a 10,000-mile tour of U.S. military bases so he could look for himself.