BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Health is looking for public input for a state plan to meet federal efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.
The health agency is hosting the third in a series of meetings on Monday in Bismarck, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule requires North Dakota to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2030. North Dakota has seven coal-fueled electric power plants.
The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce plans to weigh in on a proposed state plan. The group’s president, Kelvin Hullet said, noted that many of the chamber’s members rely on the coal industry for business.
“It is starting to create a lot of interest,” Hullet said.
The chamber is asking that the state’s plan be drafted in a way that keeps coal plants operational. Hullet said low-cost energy can help attract businesses and people who want to work in North Dakota.
The industry employs about 16,000 people in North Dakota, according to Dave Glatt, a section chief for the department.
Hullet said members of his organization are concerned about the affordability of electricity. He said any impact on the coal industry would make a ripple.
“The mines have a far-reaching economic impact in our community,” he said.
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