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Lloyd Bushong, Bismarck, Published March 10 2014

Letter: Heitkamp leads US energy debate

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., understands the important role coal plays in the U.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 that 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, D.C., on March 5, where they discussed the future of coal and the need to invest in and develop clean coal technologies.

Thanks to Sen. Heitkamp, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited North Dakota on Feb. 28 and heard firsthand 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.

Sen. 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.