John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK—North Dakota officials welcomed news Monday, Oct. 9, that the Trump administration would repeal a rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he will sign a proposed rule Tuesday, Oct. 10, to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation that sought to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The rule was met with resistance in North Dakota, a major coal producer.
BISMARCK—The federal government has denied North Dakota's request for a disaster declaration for this year's drought, Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday, Oct. 9. In a letter dated Saturday, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said "supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not appropriate for this event" and noted drought relief is available through other programs.
BISMARCK — A group of North Dakota university faculty members were "troubled" that members of the State Board of Higher Education hadn't seen a report criticizing the chancellor's leadership before voting to extend his contract, the organization said this week.
BISMARCK—The state of Minnesota is fighting attorneys' fees awarded to North Dakota in a long-running dispute over a Minnesota clean energy law. Almost a year ago, Minnesota appealed a federal judge's order awarding North Dakota more than $1.3 million in attorneys' fees and other costs in the case. Arguments are scheduled for Oct. 18 in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul.
BISMARCK — The $15 million donation the developer of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline gave to the state of North Dakota was "unusual" but benefitted taxpayers, a top Republican lawmaker said this week. The money is intended to help offset the heavy costs the state incurred for the response to the monthslong protests against the pipeline. In an interview Thursday, Oct. 5, Gov. Doug Burgum said the state has "no obligations whatsoever" for accepting the payment.
BISMARCK — As members of Congress scrutinize a firearm accessory found at the scene of the Las Vegas massacre, North Dakota's senators said they wanted to learn more about the devices Wednesday, Oct. 4. A "bump stock" is a legal accessory that uses a gun's recoil to accelerate its rate of fire. They were found on at least a dozen of the 23 firearms discovered in the wake of Sunday's shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, according to the Washington Post.
BISMARCK — A new wind farm is planned for southeast North Dakota. The 150-megawatt, $267 million project would be located southwest of Merricourt in Dickey County and would include up to 75 turbines, according to documents filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Foxtail Wind, LLC, applied for a certificate of site compatibility in July. A public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Ellendale.
BISMARCK—Citing "fundamental disagreements" between regulators in North Dakota and Minnesota, Xcel Energy has proposed creating a separate company to serve its North Dakota electric customers.
BISMARCK—Citing uncertainty around federal subsidies for health insurers, Medica will not offer individual coverage through North Dakota's Affordable Care Act exchange in 2018, the state's insurance commissioner said Thursday, Sept. 28. Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, a Republican, said Medica's decision illustrates the instability of the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Still, he noted North Dakotans should still have options through Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sanford Health Plan.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota lawmakers took another step toward taking Gov. Doug Burgum to court over vetoes he handed down a few months ago. Legislative Management, a powerful interim committee, voted 12-4 Thursday, Sept. 28, to proceed with litigation over the vetoes, which came shortly after legislators adjourned in late April. Lawmakers said the move is an effort to clarify the roles of the legislative and executive branches of state government.