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Coal still dominant in N.D. despite other sources

June 18, 2014 9:55 am  • 

WILLISTON, N.D. — New Environmental Protection Agency regulations will likely not shake North Dakota's reliance on coal when they take effect.

North Dakota is home to a number of electricity generation sources. But in 2013 the state still relied on coal for 79 percent of its power according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wind represented about 16 percent of the electricity mix.

Lignite Energy Council vice president Steve Van Dyke says coal has been the "old faithful" of the state's economy for decades. The state's U.S. senators say the state needs federal regulations that support coal.

But there are some opportunities for coal alternatives. Tom Vinson of the American Wind Energy association says the new rules could be an opportunity for North Dakota to export more wind energy to other states.