Lignite Champions and Luminaries

Ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 1412 with Governor Doug Burgum, along with state and legislative leaders for coal conversion tax relief for lignite power plants.

During the 2021 North Dakota Legislative Session, the Lignite Energy Council either created or testified in support of a total of 18 pieces of legislation that it felt were necessary to ensure the vitality of the coal industry in North Dakota. The key bills listed below comprised the 2021 ND legislative priorities as set forth by the LEC Management Committee and served as the scored roll call votes that define a legislator as a “lignite champion.”

The lignite industry is among the top five industries in the state and contributes more than 13,000 jobs to the state’s economy, many of them in central North Dakota where historically job diversity has been scarce. At this time, the mines and power plants faces consequential times due to harmful federal regulatory practices, challenging market conditions and inequitable federal tax subsidies. These five bills go a long way in ensuring that the employees at the mines and plants continue their careers in the lignite industry.  

Lignite Energy Council President and CEO Jason Bohrer called the 2021 legislative session “the most important one in the history of the Lignite Energy Council,” which was founded in 1974.

LEC Priority Legislation:

SB 2287

provides the legislative authority for the insurance commissioner to study the availability, cost and risk associated with insurance coverage in the lignite coal industry and to implement any necessary recommendations by June 1, 2022.

SB 2152

conforms the century code to comply with federal law regarding 45Q tax policy.

HB 1412

Exempts coal plants from the state’s coal conversion facility tax for the next five years. The bill is expected to save the industry over $20 million per year, freeing up funds to invest in innovative projects such as carbon capture and sequestration that will curb emissions and improve the industry’s long-term viability.

SB 2206

Provides the opportunity for public utilities to recover research and development costs incurred to develop lignite more efficiently from carbon capture and sequestration utilization. The legislation also includes the ability to recover costs in rates from a dispatchable on-demand generating unit, plant or facility for power purchase agreements to help protect grid reliability.

HB 1452

creates the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority to help position North Dakota as a leader in reducing environmental impacts through a comprehensive research and development authority. The legislation provides $25 million from state’s general fund to the authority to fund qualified projects.

Lignite Luminaries

Five legislators are recognized as Lignite Luminaries for their leadership in sponsoring two or more of these five bills. Their leadership was integral to getting this legislation passed.

The five luminaries are:

Senator

Jessica Bell

(R-33) Beulah

Senator

Rich Wardner

(R-37) Dickinson

Representative

Jeff Delzer

(R-8) Underwood

Representative

Chet Pollert

(R-29) Carrington

Representative

Craig Headland

(R-29) Montpelier

Lignite Champions

Of the 141 legislators (94 representatives and 47 senators) 112 lawmakers voted for all five of these critical bills. These Lignite Champions are listed below in district order.

Mary Adams
Representative
District: 43
Bert Anderson
Representative
District: 2
Dick Anderson
Representative
District: 6
Mike Beltz
Representative
District: 20
Glenn Bosch
Representative
District: 30
Claire Cory
Representative
District: 42
Chuck Damschen
Representative
District: 10
Jeff Delzer
Representative
District: 8
Bill Devlin
Representative
District: 23
Jason Dockter
Representative
District: 7
Jay Fisher
Representative
District: 5
Jared Hagert
Representative
District: 20
Patrick Hatlestad
Representative
District: 1
Craig Headland
Representative
District: 29
Pat Heinert
Representative
District: 32
Michael Howe
Representative
District: 22
Zachary Ista
Representative
District: 43
Dennis Johnson
Representative
District: 15
Terry Jones
Representative
District: 4
Karen Karls
Representative
District: 35
Jim Kasper
Representative
District: 46
George Keiser
Representative
District: 47
Keith Kempenich
Representative
District: 39
Dwight Kiefert
Representative
District: 24
Lawrence Klemin
Representative
District: 47
Ben Koppelman
Representative
District: 16
Kim Koppelman
Representative
District: 13
Gary Kreidt
Representative
District: 33
Mike Lefor
Representative
District: 37
Donald Longmuir
Representative
District: 2
Scott Louser
Representative
District: 5
Andrew Marschall
Representative
District: 16
Bob Martinson
Representative
District: 35
Lisa Meier
Representative
District: 32
Alisa Mitskog
Representative
District: 25
Corey Mock
Representative
District: 18
David Monson
Representative
District: 10
Mike Nathe
Representative
District: 30
Dave Nehring
Representative
District: 8
Jon Nelson
Representative
District: 14
Emily O'Brien
Representative
District: 42
Mitch Ostlie
Representative
District: 12
Mark Owens
Representative
District: 17
Bob Paulson
Representative
District: 3
Chet Pollert
Representative
District: 29
Todd Porter
Representative
District: 34
Brandy Pyle
Representative
District: 22
David Richter
Representative
District: 1
Shannon Roers Jones
Representative
District: 46
Karen Rohr
Representative
District: 31
Matthew Ruby
Representative
District: 40
Mark Sanford
Representative
District: 17
Bernie Satrom
Representative
District: 12
Austen Schauer
Representative
District: 13
Jim Schmidt
Representative
District: 31
Mary Schneider
Representative
District: 21
Randy Schobinger
Representative
District: 40
Cynthia Schreiber-Beck
Representative
District: 25
Kathy Skroch
Representative
District: 26
Vicky Steiner
Representative
District: 37
Greg Stemen
Representative
District: 27
Michelle Strinden
Representative
District: 41
Paul Thomas
Representative
District: 6
Nathan Toman
Representative
District: 34
Wayne Trottier
Representative
District: 19
Bill Tveit
Representative
District: 33
Steve Vetter
Representative
District: 18
Don Vigesaa
Representative
District: 23
Robin Weisz
Representative
District: 14
Greg Westlind
Representative
District: 15
Denton Zubke
Representative
District: 39
Howard Anderson
Senator
District: 8
Brad Bekkedahl
Senator
District: 1
Jessica Bell
Senator
District: 33
Randy Burckhard
Senator
District: 5
David Clemens
Senator
District: 16
Cole Conley
Senator
District: 12
Kyle Davison
Senator
District: 41
Dick Dever
Senator
District: 32
Michael Dwyer
Senator
District: 47
Jay Elkin
Senator
District: 36
Robert Erbele
Senator
District: 28
Robert Fors
Senator
District: 19
Joan Heckaman
Senator
District: 23
Jason Heitkamp
Senator
District: 26
David Hogue
Senator
District: 38
Ray Holmberg
Senator
District: 17
Jordan Kannianen
Senator
District: 4
Jerry Klein
Senator
District: 14
Karen Krebsbach
Senator
District: 40
Curt Kreun
Senator
District: 42
Doug Larsen
Senator
District: 34
Diane Larson
Senator
District: 30
Judy Lee
Senator
District: 13
Randy Lemm
Senator
District: 20
Larry Luick
Senator
District: 25
Scott Meyer
Senator
District: 18
Janne Myrdal
Senator
District: 10
Erin Oban
Senator
District: 35
Dave Oehlke
Senator
District: 15
Dale Patten
Senator
District: 39
Nicole Poolman
Senator
District: 7
Jim Roers
Senator
District: 46
Kristin Roers
Senator
District: 27
David Rust
Senator
District: 2
Donald Schaible
Senator
District: 31
Ronald Sorvaag
Senator
District: 45
Shawn Vedaa
Senator
District: 6
Terry Wanzek
Senator
District: 29
Rich Wardner
Senator
District: 37
Mark Weber
Senator
District: 22
Michael Howe
Senator
District: 22
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