The Lignite Energy Council, a regional trade association representing more than 300 companies, will be hosting its fall conference at the Bismarck Event Center, Bismarck, on Wednesday and Thursday, October 4 and 5, 2017. The media is invited to any or all of the conference events.
“The speakers reflect two of our major focus points this year – advocacy and innovation,” said Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy
Council. “Under the Trump Administration, companies are more optimistic about the future. However, we are not sitting idly by. We are continuing to work with government agencies and technology developers to ensure our ample reserves of lignite remain a low-cost fuel for the future.”
Two keynote speakers will focus on their respective area of advocacy expertise. At 11:15 a.m. on October 4, Lori Shaw, a co-founder of Colstrip United, will discuss the grassroots advocacy lessons she’s learned. The native of Colstrip, Montana, uses social media and other venues to combat against the negative opinions held by environmental activists about coal-based electricity.
Another speaker – Trent Loos – will close the conference at 12:20 p.m. on October 5 as he talks about being a passionate advocate for production agriculture. Loos is a noted radio personality with Nebraska farm roots. He has been an outspoken proponent of family farmers throughout the United States. His passion for promoting agriculture was “born out of the reality that people were spreading vicious untruths” about the industry he grew up in and dearly loved and nobody was setting them straight. His talk includes stories from his travels around the world about the amazing people that are making a difference in so many fields in countless different ways.
Three panels will address innovation. The first is a panel of utility and mining experts who will talk about managing, planning and implementing the next generation of energy sources to power the homes, farms and businesses in the Upper Midwest. That panel begins at 1:30 p.m. on October 4.
Two more panels will follow on the morning of October 5. The first focuses on opportunities and challenges facing the industry when it comes to capturing and using carbon dioxide at North Dakota’s lignite facilities. One of the presenters — Anthony Armpriester — represents a project near Houston, Texas, that is successfully capturing CO2 from an existing power plant and using the CO2 in Texas oil fields to increase oil production.
The second panel includes a variety of people associated with North Dakota’s Empower Commission, which was started more than a decade ago to help the state’s legislature develop policies that would benefit all energy industries in the state.
Besides the speakers, the luncheon on October 4 will recognize several companies in the lignite industry who have won safety awards. Other award winners will be honored for outstanding reclamation, community service and outstanding careers in the industry.