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North Dakotans Need Independence on the Public Service Commission

I am running for the Public Service Commission because I believe we need Commissioners who will put the interests of hard-working North Dakotans first, hold industry interests accountable, and provide even-handed and fact-based decision-making process to the PSCs rulings.

Unfortunately, independence and people-first advocacy has been lacking on the PSC for years, particularly when it comes to candidates receiving contributions from the companies they are meant to regulate. When a company goes before the PSC to ask for a rate increase, can we be sure that our Commissioners are not swayed by the contributions they receive?

This issue is not new. For years, commissioners on the PSC received donations from political action committees and lobbyists only to turn around and issue decisions that were favorable to those industries. When, my opponent, Randy Christmann ran for his seat in 2012, he solicited thousands of dollars from the oil, gas, and telecommunications industries.

Commissioners should listen to businesses who will be affected by the PSCs decisions, but realize that they are on the board to serve the public. In a state like North Dakota, where a large percentage of our states wealth comes from natural resources, having independent regulators is crucial to grow our economy while ensuring that working families do not bear an undue burden when they receive their utility bills.

I have spent my career working on the issues that come before the PSC. Ive lived and worked on farms all my life, I serve as the Director of the North Central Electric Cooperative, and for nearly the past decade I have worked in the oil industry. Given my experience, I have the knowledge to call a ball a ball and a strike a strike. I look forward to using that experience to the benefit of all North Dakotans.

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.