South Heart (ND) Mine: Bait and Switch?

Published in the Dickinson Press on Dec. 21 (although not available online):

Subject: LTE: Commissioners should clarify mine rezone decision

In reading the recent article about Great Northern Power Development’s mining permit being returned as deficient, I noticed there was a big error.

The article references a “proposed coal to hydrogen plant.” To date, there is no letter of intent filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission regarding that plant.

This time around, the coal mine application makes absolutely no reference to any type of facility being built. The “proposed” plant, at this time, is nothing more than a mere thought, an empty promise by an out-of-state company used to get local officials support. The promise of jobs and tax revenue is not the same as an actual proposal.

Coincidentally, there have been articles in Washington newspapers, about an Australian company partnering with coal companies, to build an export point to ship coal to Asia. Coal from the Midwest. Is that why no facility has actually been proposed?

Opening a mine and shipping coal to Asia would be a lot easier for GNPD, not to mention it would create a lot less jobs for the area, and absolutely no coal conversion tax money would be coming into the state, let alone the county and city it is most impacting.

The Stark County commissioners need to use this opportunity to “clarify” their decision to rezone before requiring this company to get the necessary state permits.

There were no conditions put on the approval requiring GNPD to build any kind of facility — just a ticket for GNPD to do whatever they want.

What did the commissioners open the door to?

Mary Hodell, Dickinson

This entry was posted in Coal, North Dakota, South Heart and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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