Revamping a coal alliance
By Daniel Arens
Issues of coal are always front and center in the minds of Mercer County residents, as well as residents throughout western North Dakota.
As coal plants began to be introduced to the area, representatives from three coal-producing counties created the Coal Conversion Counties Association [CCC]. This organization brings energy leaders from Mercer, McClean and Oliver Counties together to form a plan for the future of coal in the state.
Despite the shift in energy and environmental policies under President Donald Trump’s administration, there are still many challenges facing the coal industry. Most notably, the recent layoffs and voluntary separation option from the Dakota Gasification Company raise fresh concerns about the stability of coal as alternative energies compete within the power grid.
On Sept. 4, the CCC board of directors met at D’Andreas Hot Stuff Pizza in Hazen. One of the main purposes of the gathering was to establish the time and place for an annual meeting for the entire association, and not just the board.