September 25, 2008

Questioning the Future: Coal and Oil in McLean County

By Danielle Abbott

Oil and coal are two topics that may be on the mind of every North Dakota resident. With the recent discovery of oil in neighboring counties and the continuing success of the coal industry, these two natural resources prove to be an important and growing issue in Mclean County. Coal became a key factor for McLean County in 1980 when Coal Creek Station opened between Washburn and Underwood. Today, Coal Creek station is North Dakota’s largest power plant. It is adjoined by the Falkirk Mine, which supplies lignite coal, the main fuel source for the plant. Hazen City Planner Steve Frovarp said, "Coal has definitely been a really positive impact, with the jobs that it has created in our three counties and in the state as a whole." The North Dakota Coal Conversion Counties joined for their annual meeting on Sept. 17.


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