Last week, Bluestem reported in Tom Bakk nabs good conduct certificate from ND Industrial Commission coal marketing program:
. . . Bluestem explained that there are public records that help understand what this not-lobbying campaign is all about. That would be the online public records kept by the North Dakota Industrial Commission Lignite Research, Development and Marketing Program. It explains itself on its homepage:
North Dakota's Lignite Research, Development and Marketing Program (Program) is a multi-million dollar state/industry partnership that concentrates on near term, practical research and development projects that provide the opportunity to preserve and enhance development of our state's abundant lignite resources.
Yesterday in the Bismarck Tribune,the Associated Press's James MacPherson reported in N.D. lignite projects languish as some question worth that few of the Lignite Research, Development and Marketing Program's projects have been worth the North Dakota Industrial Development Commission's time:
Fifteen years after North Dakota began funding research aimed at revitalizing growth in the state's lignite industry, all but one project has been abandoned or yielded little more than expensive studies that have failed to find a clean and cost-effective use for the state's plentiful but low-grade coal, data obtained by The Associated Press show.
Some say it may be time to reevaluate North Dakota's lignite research fund, which was established to boost the use of the coal as an energy source and economic engine for the state. Others blame the lack of progress on lignite projects on uncertain coal legislation.
. . . The only project to be built has been Great River Energy's plant in southeastern North Dakota, which began producing electric power last year. Construction of the power plant was finished in 2010, but its startup was delayed due to a drop in demand for electricity in Minnesota.
Read the rest at the Bismarck Tribune, paying particular note to the planning for a massive coal mine complex near South Heart, North Dakota near the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Sunday's headline echoes an earlier one published in November 11, 2013 by the Casper (Wyoming) Star Tribune, As North Dakota coal projects languish, some question worth.
The contrast with that dismal record would make even an IRRRB commission blush with pride over solar energy panel factories and political call centers.
No wonder why printing out good conduct certificates for Minnesota's Senate Majority leader, buying ads with state hockey tournaments and a friendly communication consultant's sleepy website seem like such a deal. Mining Minnesota's political resources is much more effective than actually coming up with "clean" coal.
Photo: The grip and grin, photo submitted by the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future to the Tower Timberjay. If you see a photo of other legislators getting a certificate from the marketing campaign sponsored by $1.2 million of the North Dakota Industrial Commission Lignite Research, Development and Marketing Program's money, please send it to us!
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