Lignite Energy Council’s fall conference highlights hard work

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Coal and energy players from across the state gathered in Bismarck Wednesday. It's the annual Lignite Energy Council's Fall conference.

While this conference is meant to bring together energy representatives from across the state, it was also a chance to listen to John Kriesel. Kreisel lost both of his legs in Iraq 12 years ago, and he also lost two of his best friends.

“That was devastating, that was rock bottom but it also, that's the moment I started living my life because I realized what a tremendous waste it would be for me to stop and feel sorry for myself when I got a second chance at life that my friends didn't get,” Kriesel said.

Now, Kreisel is a motivational speaker, talking to groups across the country about persistence.

“Hard work pays off always I mean when I woke up in the hospital and was told I may never walk again because of my injuries, I didn't let that stop me,” he said.

Carbon capture was also a big topic, and what would happen if a 90 percent capture was required in the state.

“By doing this and by putting this infrastructure in place we truly are linking the coal industry to the oil industry in North Dakota which we think is a great positive for the state,” Josh Stankilowski with the Energy and Environmental Research Center said.

He says the higher the rate of capture, the higher the economic benefit, which is why 90 percent was chosen.