Letter: What was the point of the power plant cartoon?

"North Dakota is one of only 17 states that meets all of federal ambient clean air standards," writes Steve Van Dyke of the Lignite Energy Council.

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.

I thought the editorial cartoon of the power plant with twin stacks and facemasks was thought-provoking but seemed to lack context, so let me provide some.

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North Dakota is one of only 17 states that meets all of federal ambient clean air standards. This in part to the $2 billion investment in clean coal technologies to capture and reduce emissions from the state’s eight lignite-based coal conversion facilities.

Second, when it comes to capturing carbon dioxide, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant has been a pioneer for the past 20 years, capturing CO2 and sending it to Canadian oil fields for enhanced oil recovery.


Third, Minnkota Power Cooperative and its partners are working to advance Project Tundra at the existing Milton R. Young Station near Center, N.D., which would be the largest CO2 capture and storage project on a conventional power plant in the world.

North Dakota’s Legislature and Congressional delegation are working with the lignite industry on various pieces of legislation that would help with funding the $1 billion retrofit of Minnkota’s Young Station.

That’s what I saw when I looked at the “masks on the stacks” and I wanted to share my thoughts with others who may have scratched their heads and wondered “what’s the point?”

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

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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