In 2008, the North Dakota Public Service Commission was requested by Nextera (Florida Power and Light) to approve a megawatt transmission line from its Ashtabula Wind Farm in Barnes County to the Fargo Substation. At the time, the PSC knew there was potential for 560 MW of power on the ridge in Barnes and Steele counties and two other wind farm projects in various stages of development. Rather than mandate a transmission line with sufficient capacity, the PSC approved the smaller capacity line, which will inevitably require the other wind farms in the area to build parallel transmission lines to carry their electricity to the grid.
In 2009, TransCanada Keystone sought a permit from the PSC to carry Alberta crude oil through North Dakota. At full capacity this pipeline carries the equivalent of 7,000 tanker trucks of oil a day. The PSC did not look into the possibility of, let alone require, an “on-ramp” for North Dakota oil on the pipeline before granting the permit. Montana leadership was visionary enough to see that as an excellent opportunity and our leadership should have, as well. Living and working in western North Dakota we know how dangerous our roads have become and how cumbersome simple commutes can be, given the number of truckers on our two-lane highways.
When it comes to energy development in North Dakota, the Public Service Commission has been consistently reactive, not proactive. Brad Crabtree, candidate for Public Service commissioner, will restore balance and be a proactive voice for the consumer on the Public Service Commission. Brad Crabtree will promote the common good. Brad Crabtree needs your vote for PSC.
Kristin Hedger, Dickinson, vice president Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing