Byron Dorgan

Former U.S. Senator (D-ND)

Byron Dorgan
  • Served a combined 9 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate
  • Senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and co-chair of their energy project
  • Brings vast experience and an insider look to U.S. energy policy, the deficit, and the economy
  • Shares innovative solutions to challenges faced by both the U.S. government and businesses today

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A 30-year veteran of the U.S. Congress, Senator Byron Dorgan is a recognized leader in the fields of energy policy, economic issues, trade policy, taxes, healthcare, and more. He served in Senate leadership for 16 years, first as assistant Democratic floor leader and then as chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. He was chairman of the Senate committees and subcommittees on the issues of appropriations, commerce, energy and natural resources, defense, technology, aviation, water policy, transportation, and Indian affairs. He also served on the Ways and Means Committee in the House for 10 years, working on economic, tax, and health policy. First elected to Congress in 1980, Dorgan served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1980–1992) and three terms in the U.S. Senate (1992–2010). He was also North Dakota’s youngest-ever constitutional officer when he was appointed state tax commissioner.

Dorgan applies this vast experience to discussing the importance of meaningful oversight of financial markets and shares insights on our deficit and the economy. A respected energy expert, he also addresses a comprehensive energy plan that outlines actionable strategies for our country to implement in its pursuit of energy security.

Forward-Looking Energy Policymaker. Senator Dorgan has also been a strong advocate of energy policy that aggressively moves our country toward the use of renewable energy and domestic energy sources and away from our reliance on foreign oil. As chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, he worked to fund development of renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy, and biofuels, as well as clean coal research that will help Americans find better ways to use the resource that fulfills 50 percent of the nation’s energy needs. A senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, he is the co-chair of its Energy Project.

Senator Dorgan is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America; Reckless: How Debt, Deregulation, and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (And How We Can Fix It!); and Blowout, his most recent novel about America’s energy crisis. He is currently working on another book, expected to be out June 2013.

Agricultural Advocate. Dorgan was ingrained early in life with a deep appreciation for family farmers and ranchers. He has emerged as one of the nation’s leading voices on behalf of America’s agriculture industry. In Congress, Dorgan worked to expand North Dakota’s burgeoning energy sector, preserve a strong safety net for family farmers, and spur economic development. He also served on the House Select Committee on Hunger and worked on agriculture committees in both the House and Senate.

Post-Senate, Dorgan is a visiting professor at two universities lecturing on energy, economic policy, and political affairs. He is currently the co-chair of government relations practice for Arent Fox.

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Conversations With Power: Ron Brownstein, Byron Dorgan, Karen Harbert, & Tom Ridge

Innovate Our Way Out of the Energy Problem. A former member of the Senate Energy Committee and the head of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s energy project, Senator Byron Dorgan has a unique perspective on the energy issues facing our country. He shares insights on creating a comprehensive energy plan that outlines specific and actionable strategies for our country to implement in the pursuit of energy security. Dorgan pushes for innovative ideas that can solve the nation’s energy crisis and advocates for further development of renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy, and biofuels, and clean coal research that will help us find better ways to use these resources to fulfill 50 percent of our nation’s energy needs. He also addresses the challenges and geopolitical issues surrounding a comprehensive energy policy.

Responsible Economics. Dorgan worked for common-sense economic policies in the Senate. He outlines the details of our economic situation and discusses potential long-term solutions. He also covers the likely political path that any legislation will take and handicap its odds of passage. At the same time, Dorgan dissects the various groups and issues – like taxes, the deficit, defense, the fiscal cliff, and entitlements – impacted by any potential legislation, addressing where we can cut back to fix the deficit and incorporating how our energy concerns affect economic policy and growth.

Politics Today. A 30-year veteran of the U.S. Congress, Sen. Byron Dorgan has been privy to some of our countries most heated and important discussions on policy and witnessed the political wrangling and rancor amongst parties. While he believes in finding the best ideas from both parties to create legislation that works for the American people, he shares insights into what is going on behind the scenes on today’s hottest issues.

Finance and Taxes Issues. Dorgan served for 10 years on the House Ways and Means Committee (during which time he was a major contributor to the Tax Reform Act of 1986) and also served as the state tax commissioner for North Dakota. With that extensive finance and tax background, he is well versed in nearly all areas of finance and taxation and can address them from both broad, high-level and granular, detailed-oriented perspectives. In this presentation, Dorgan addresses tax reform – which he sees as an “inevitable” issue, discussing what is currently in the tax code, what is likely to change, what should change, and how these issues specifically affect his audience.

Additional Topics. Senator Byron Dorgan can also discuss agriculture issues, defense policy and weapons programs, nuclear weapons policies, telecommunications and technology issues, water policy, Indian affairs, airline and aviation issues, hunger issues, travel and tourism issues, and China.

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