Threatening a livelihood
By STU MERRY
A recently announced Environmental Protection Agency mandate, saying how much power plants must reduce their emissions, has plant and coal mine operators in McLean County on the edge of their seats. All remain optimistic the line in the sand can be overcome.
Randy Crooke and Doug Stoltz of Falkirk Mine and Morris Hummel and Al Christensen of Great River Energy informed McLean County commissioners what the EPA mandate could mean for their facilities.
In August, the EPA issued its final Clean Power Plan regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
Crooke said there are some things in the rules that are different from the proposal a year ago that took Falkirk officials by surprise and complicates how the industry in North Dakota is going to comply.
"It surprised a lot of us," he said.
In the final rule, the EPA calls for a 45 percent reduction in carbon emissions for existing plants in the state. The original rule was 11 percent. To Crooke and others, that is a huge difference.