According to the NDSU Agricultural Economics Department, the lignite industry is the state's fifth largest industry behind agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Oil/natural gas is ranked third.
- Oil and gas
Source: R. Coon & L. Leistritz, Unpublished Data, Department of Agricultural Economics, NDSU, 2010
NDSU Agricultural Economics Department 's economic impact study on the lignite industry
The economy of the western and central region of North Dakota, including Bismarck-Mandan, is highly dependent on the energy industry. The economy of the western and central region of North Dakota, including Bismarck-Mandan, is highly dependent on the energy industry.
The energy industry (coal mining, coal conversion, and petroleum and natural gas extraction, exploration and refining) accounted 14.8 percent of the state's economic base in 2010.
The lignite industry directly employs 4,097 people in North Dakota. For every direct job provided by the lignite industry, another three jobs are needed to supply the industry with goods and services. Thus, there are 13,347 indirect employees. Total employment is 17,444.
Lignite industry expenditures are $1,165.5 million. Each dollar spent by the lignite industry circulates through the state's economy another three times. Thus, total business activity is more than $3.5 billion in North Dakota.
The lignite industry generates over $101 million in state tax revenue.
Source: "North Dakota Lignite Energy Industry's Contribution to the State Economy for 2011 and Projected for 2012," April 2012, Randal C. Coon, Dean A. Bangs & Nancy Hodur, NDSU Agricultural Economics Publication AAE 12003