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Forum staff reports, Published November 25 2013

Lignite Energy Council opposes outdoor fund

BISMARCK – The Lignite Energy Council on Monday announced its opposition to a proposed new outdoor heritage fund, claiming it would divert money from other priorities.

The council, which represents the lignite coal industry, supported creation of the Outdoor Heritage Fund, approved earlier this year by the North Dakota Legislature, authorized to collect as much as $30 million per biennium for conservation.

Conservation backers are circulating petitions for a new Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Fund that would collect an estimated $150 million per biennium.

“We need to give the Heritage Fund time to work before we create a more expensive and invasive model that could harm the state’s largest industries, namely energy and agriculture,” Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, said in a statement.