Industry needs time

Charles A. Galloway, Ryder

We read articles in The Minot Daily News and other news vehicles about clean air. The articles say one way to clean the air is to eliminate fossil fuels. That might sound like a good idea to some people, and the articles encourage us to jump on the bandwagon. But we should take these stories seriously.

But like so many things, what sounds like a good solution for all is not. We in western North Dakota, for one, are all for clean air. In North Dakota, industry has spent millions of dollars to eliminate air pollution, but to end the use of fossil fuels right now would be devastating for us.

There are eight power plants in western North Dakota employing hundreds of people. They earn their living from lignite coal and coal power generating plants and a coal gasification plant that actually takes the sulfur, carbon, and nine more byproducts out of the coal and markets it. Investor-owned utilities and power cooperatives are doing all they can and are working as quickly as possible to find new ways of cleaning up the air, but Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency are putting demands time lines on them that are impossible to comply with.

Our representatives in Congress are doing the best they can to plead our case, but letters, e-mails and phone calls of support certainly would be helpful in order to convince them that they are truly representing the well being of western North Dakota. Tell your representatives to make it clear to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency that we need more time.