U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has accepted an invitation from U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to visit North Dakota on Friday, Feb. 28. Heitkamp will host the visit, which includes discussions with Basin Electric officials and a tour of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. She wants McCarthy to hear directly from North Dakotans on how EPA policies impact the state.
Heitkamp and McCarthy plan to talk about the future of coal and utilities, and how the renewable fuel standard will impact the state’s ethanol industry. The discussions will be open to the press.
A Feb. 24 news release from Heitkamp’s office reads, in part:
“In my many conversations with Administrator McCarthy, I repeatedly encouraged her to visit our great state, and to hear from folks who actually have to implement and comply with EPA regulations every day. I’m grateful that she agreed to visit North Dakota, and this trip will be an opportunity for North Dakotans to have their voices heard,” said Heitkamp. “I’m looking forward to having meaningful discussions about the need to find a real path forward for coal, and how ethanol provides good jobs and has environmental benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.”
“North Dakota offers the country a broad array of energy opportunities. I’m glad Senator Heitkamp invited me to visit and I’m looking forward to spending time with her and hearing the views of the state’s residents,” said Administrator McCarthy.”
Heitkamp first invited McCarthy to North Dakota when they met during McCarthy’s confirmation process to be EPA Administrator. When the EPA recently announced an 11-city listening tour to gain insight regarding the agency’s work on an existing source rule, Heitkamp called out the agency for overlooking North Dakota, a state that has a major coal producing industry and is still heavily reliant on coal fired power as the major source of electric generation.
Read the news release in its entirety on Heitkamp’s website.