Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council and Perrie Schafer, a board member of the Lignite Energy Council and owner of Environmental Services, LTD, in Mandan, North Dakota, are speaking on behalf of the regional lignite industry at the EPA’s listening session in Gillette, Wyoming on March 27, 2018.
When the Clean Power Plan (CPP) was initially released in August 2015, the State of North Dakota joined with 26 other states in opposing the Plan as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a stay of the CPP in February 2016. Since then the Plan has been in limbo with President Trump’s EPA working to repeal it.
The EPA is holding the listening session in Gillette as part of a series of sessions regarding the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. EPA contends the Plan is not consistent with the Clean Air Act.
“The Lignite Energy Council has filed comments with the EPA already stating our opposition to the existing rule, which reaches far beyond the fence line of the power plants,” Bohrer said. “Our view is the rule should look at each plant individually and should not lead to generation sources or utilities switching away from coal, but should consider the technologies that are available today.”
Schafer represents Main Street businesses throughout North Dakota, which would have been hurt with the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. The CPP called for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 45 percent by 2030, which had the potential to close half of the mines and power plants in North Dakota.
“As a representative of a couple hundred contractor/supplier companies that are members of the Lignite Energy Council, I want to make sure that our voices are heard in Gillette,” Schafer said.
The listening session in Gillette is one of three scheduled by the EPA. The other two were held in Kansas City and San Francisco in February.
The Lignite Energy Council is a regional trade association representing North Dakota lignite producers, electric utilities and approximately 300 businesses providing goods and services to the mines and plants. The lignite industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in gross business volume within the state.