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Letter: CO2 Study was incomplete and misleading

Allow me to respond to Miles City, Mont., rancher Mark Fix's letter published Aug. 25 where he quotes an incomplete and misleading study:

Capturing carbon dioxide is not some unachievable, pie-in-the-sky goal as Fix would have us believe.

The Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, N.D., has been capturing and storing CO2 in the partially depleted oil fields near Weyburn, Sask., for nearly two decades. But that fact didn't meet the goal of the study so it was left out. The pipeline to transport CO2 from Beulah through western North Dakota is already in place, but that fact was also omitted.

As North Dakota looks at preserving its existing lignite-based power plants and adding future generation from the state's abundant coal resources, utilities and mining companies are well aware of the challenges. However, we also see the opportunities that exist because of the state-industry partnership for research and development, the advantage of having a first-rate technology developer in the state — the Energy & Environmental Research Center — and the tremendous geology that exists in western North Dakota for long-term storage.

As an environmental extremist said recently, the "green lobby" is seen by the public as being better at "opposing than proposing." Fix's letter and the study he quoted could be exhibit A and B.

Van Dyke is the vice president of communications for the Lignite Energy Council.

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