Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1995


Published in Great Plains Research 5:1 (February 1995). Copyright © 1995 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Anthropologist Caroline Tauxe's Farms, Mines, and Main Streets is a study of the impact of energy development in Mercer County, North Dakota. Mercer County's rich deposits of lignite became the focus of attention by energy companies and policymakers during the energy crisis of the seventies. Already the site of several mines and power plants-lignite begins to lose its potency soon after it is taken out of the ground-the county was the focus of intense energy development, the most important facet being the Great Plains coal gasification plant, which converted lignite into natural gas.