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LETTER: Heitkamp takes lead in protecting coal industry

BISMARCK — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., understands the important role coal plays in America’s energy sector and our regional economy. She isn’t afraid to work across the aisle to defend the industry from overly burdensome new regulations aimed at coal-based electricity introduced by the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

North Dakota truly embodies a state that is rich in all of America’s most abundant fuel sources, including oil, natural gas and lignite. But our president seems hell-bent on leaving these resources in the ground and siding with environmental groups who advocate for expensive energy policies that will stretch our families’ budgets to the limit.

The senator was instrumental in bringing together energy leaders and several of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate for a symposium in Washington on March 5, where they discussed the future of coal and the need to invest in and develop clean coal technologies.

Thanks to Heitkamp, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited North Dakota on Feb. 28 and heard first-hand about the affordability and economic growth coal-based electricity brings to the state. Let’s hope her visit will translate into better policymaking in the future.

Heitkamp continues to be a leader in protecting the future of coal and supporting technology that will help us use our abundant supply of coal for decades to come.

Lloyd Bushong

Bushong is president and CEO of Industrial Contractors, Inc.