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BNSF Railway Co. has committed to shipping more coal to help Dairyland Power Cooperative meet its consumption needs at a Genoa, Wis., power plant, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) announced yesterday.Dairyland had been experiencing service delays from BNSF, which wasn't meeting obligations to deliver enough coal to a Hendricks, Iowa, harbor that serves the Genoa plant, according to Kind. Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities in a service area that encompasses 62 counties in four states.Kind and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) had sent a letter to Surface Transportation Board Chairman Dan Elliott on July 24 stating that the BNSF service delays put the cooperative's coal supply "at a perilous level" in Genoa. The congressmen asked the STB to work with BNSF, Dairyland and their offices to quickly resolve the rail delays.BNSF's commitment to provide adequate coal supplies will help keep energy prices low and ensure that the cooperative can generate power for its customers, said Kind in a press release."With crude oil taking an increasing share of our rail transport capacity, it's important that the basic energy needs of our homes and businesses are met, especially after the extreme conditions so many of us faced last winter," he said. "I will be closely monitoring the supply of coal to our region and will work to ensure that our energy needs are met."
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