In an unprecedented move, the Lignite Energy Council is cancelling what would have been its 47th Annual Meeting on April 15-16 to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory issued yesterday. CDC recommends no events larger than 50 people for the next eight weeks due to the coronavirus Covid-19.
The event is open to members of the Lignite Energy Council and generally has between 300 and 400 participants during the two-day event.
Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, noted that social distancing is one of the preventative measures now being undertaken by the mining companies and electric utilities who are working to keep their employees healthy and lignite-based facilities operating 24-7.
“We feel that it’s prudent to follow the CDC guidelines. Keeping our members healthy is of paramount concern,” Bohrer said.
Bohrer said in light of cancelling this meeting, the LEC will extend its fall meeting to two days – September 30 and October 1, 2020. At the time, the LEC will provide speakers addressing many of the topics that would have been covered in April.
Members who had already submitted registrations, sponsorships or exhibitor fees will have their money refunded via the method payments were made when possible. If a credit card expired or payment was made more than two months ago, a check will need to be issued.
The Annual Meetings have taken place in various locations in Bismarck for more than four decades. During that time, the meetings have faced all kinds of weather conditions that have impacted attendance, but this is the first time that the meeting has been cancelled completely.
Elections for the Lignite Energy Council’s Board of Directors have been conducted via confidential online vote for the past couple of years and that method will once again be used this year. Election emails will be sent out in April with voting closing on Tuesday, April 14. Winning seats will be announced that week.