Basin Electric receives awards from Lignite Energy Council, participates in bill signing

LEC-education-award.png
Chris Baumgartner, left, Basin Electric senior vice president of Member Services and Administration, accepted the Lignite Energy Council's Distinguished Service Award in Education on the cooperative’s behalf at the LEC annual meeting. Baumgartner is pictured above with Jason Bohrer, LEC president and CEO.

The Lignite Energy Council (LEC) honored Basin Electric, staff, and others for contributions to the lignite industry during the LEC’s 47th Annual Meeting on April 22 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Basin Electric received the Distinguished Service Award in Education in recognition of the cooperative’s support of the LEC’s annual Teacher’s Seminar. Chris Baumgartner, Basin Electric senior vice president of Member Services and Administration, accepted the award on the cooperative’s behalf.

“If you are an out-of-state teacher and wish to attend, Basin Electric will reimburse travel expenses to and from the seminar, whether you are served by a Basin Electric distribution cooperative or not. Basin Electric has sponsored more than 140 out-of-state teachers since 2009,” Jason Bohrer, LEC president and CEO, noted during the award ceremony.

Dale Niezwaag, Basin Electric vice president of government relations, received the Distinguished Service Award – Government Action Program for his leadership as the chair of the LEC’s government affairs committee. “When it comes to the North Dakota Legislature, the lignite industry enjoys bi-partisan support. It’s one reason we also have deep public support. As we look to the future, we have our finger on the pulse of innovative breakthroughs. … None of this is possible without a united front by lignite representatives,” Bohrer said.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum received the Lignite Public Service Award for his support of lignite-industry-sponsored bills during the state's 2021 legislative session along with his role on the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which oversees the Lignite Research Program.

Following his remarks on stage, Burgum signed into law HB1412, which brings immediate tax relief to the lignite industry. It exempts coal plants from the state’s coal conversion facility tax for the next five years. The bill is expected to save the industry over $20 million per year, freeing up funds to invest in innovative projects such as carbon capture and sequestration that will curb emissions and improve the industry’s long-term viability.

The passage of the bill stands as an example of the positive working relationship the industry has with state government. Jean Schafer, Basin Electric senior legislative representative, who was part of the team working to pass the legislation, was present at the signing.

Bill-Signing.png

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed HB1412 into law. Jean Schafer, Basin Electric senior legislative representative, is pictured standing fourth from left. Photo by Mike Kennedy/Governor’s Office.

Related Videos