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Coal Conversion Counties support merger

9/24/13 (Tue)

BY MICHAEL JOHNSON
Editor
    Proposed federal regulations threatening the future of coal as an electricity source have the Coal Conversion Counties looking for more of a voice at the table. One way to do that is by merging with the Oil and Gas Association to use all their tools available.
    Steve Van Dyke, communications director for the Lignite Energy Council was the guest speaker for the Coal Conversion Counties annual meeting Sept. 17 in Washburn. While regional haze was the big obstacle two years ago during the last annual meeting, the new obstacle is the Green House Gas initiative.
    "This will affect current mines," Van Dyke said.
    He painted an otherwise good looking picture for the industry. An expected 800 years of reserves; a decreasing amount of SOx emissions; an abundant supply of water.
    While conditions seem good, Van Dyke noted that coal consumption has gone down 30 percent in the last seven years. He attributes that to hydro power and wind power increases.