Senate candidate David Duff, R-Fargo, and House candidates Harlan Goerger, R-West Fargo, Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, and Ben Hanson, D-West Fargo, participated with a group of legislators and legislative candidates in getting a firsthand look at the lignite industry during the Lignite Energy Council's biennial Legislative Tour of Coal Country on August 29.
Stops included the surface mining and reclamation areas at The North American Coal Corporation's Falkirk Mine near Underwood; along with the energy conversion and emissions control areas at Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station, which is adjacent to the mine.
"In addition to seeing the extraordinary reclamation efforts at the Falkirk Mine, the tour participants learned about energy conversion and environmental control systems at the Coal Creek Station," explained John Dwyer, president and chief executive officer of the Lignite Energy Council. He continued by emphasizing how the state's power plants are more efficient while at the same time reducing emissions and producing affordable and reliable power for more than 2 million customers in the four-state area.
Tour participants also learned about the industry's impact on the economy of North Dakota, including the direct and indirect employment of 17,000 people, the annual generation of $3 billion in business volume, and the annual generation of more than $100 million in tax revenue.