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Letter: Axness, Reisenauer would be bold, innovative leaders

What we have now: Weekly, if not twice a week, reports of pipelines leaking either oil or salt water into North Dakota soil and water supplies. The Public Service Commission, which has the authority to regulate the safety of these pipelines, is on record saying that there is a “quagmire” of regulatory agencies which makes responding to major disasters a problem with not one organization taking the lead. Other times, these commissioners are saying that they already have things under control or they question whether it is their job to be involved. To me this is a very troubling way of doing business.

What we can have: Tyler Axness and Todd Reisenauer want to effectively serve you on the PSC. They have not only pointed out the failed leadership on the current PSC, which has allowed a major oil spill by Tioga to go undetected for days, resulting in a three-football-field-size area needing to be cleaned up; and allowed an illegal pipeline to be in the ground for two years before saying they wouldn’t issue any consequences. By contrast, Tyler and Todd have proposed a VIP program (verification of the integrity of pipelines), which would put a stop to this quagmire, and these needless and costly weekly spills and leaks. Farmers should not have to be reporting the leaks of their land. Tyler and Todd are proposing bold new leadership that will once more instill a sense of trust in the state PSC showing it does exist for the safety and well-being of our citizens, our landowners and our businesses.

I lived in western North Dakota for more than 25 years and know the beauty of that part of the state. I am voting for Tyler Axness and Todd Reisenauer for PSC this November. I know their bold and innovative leadership will be to create a safer and better North Dakota.

Ruth Stefonowicz,