The Lignite Energy Council is now 44 years old. Formed in the 1970s when the lignite industry was beginning to grow, the Council has provided a variety of services to its members – and 2018 is no exception. The Council’s theme “Leading through Advocacy and Innovation” sums up its major initiatives.
The Lignite Energy Council has four major programs – government relations, research and development, public affairs and education – through which the goals of the lignite industry are advanced for the benefit of the mines, plants and contractor/supplier members.
Each of program experienced significant accomplishments. In the public affairs arena, a public opinion poll taken in North Dakota in 2018 showed that 81 percent of the respondents favored or highly favored generating electricity from coal.
Given the onslaught of regulations during the preceding Presidential Administration, the rebound in support for coal-based electricity showed the value of a pro-active, advocacy effort for North Dakota lignite-based electricity through a series of TV advertising campaigns starting in 2017 and continuing into 2018. The theme for the advertising was “homegrown energy” and addressed the jobs, economic impact and tax revenues that strengthen North Dakota industry, businesses and homes.
The Lignite Energy Council and its members also showed how important electric vehicles can be to the future of the industry. These efforts included supporting infrastructure needs at a major new hospital in the Fargo area. Also, a state-wide TV campaign featuring an engineer at a lignite mine and his electric car helped drive home the point that using electricity helped the state’s power plants as approximately 70 percent of the state’s power comes from “homegrown” lignite. The LEC also helped support and promote electric vehicle campaigns initiated by its members.
For more information about the Council and its 2018 accomplishments, please click this 2018 Annual Report link.