Governor Doug Burgum attended the Super Bowl this weekend, and Xcel Energy picked up the tab.

Burgum’s staff tried to cover the trip with a veneer of official duty.

“Nowatzki says Burgum will use the opportunity to talk to the company about ‘improving services and infrastructure for North Dakota,'” the Associated Press reported.

Give me a break. If Governor Burgum wants talk turkey with Xcel Energy he can set a meeting whenever he likes. He doesn’t need to go to the Super Bowl. It’s worth noting that, beyond services and infrastructure, Xcel has been heavily involved in the debate our state has been having over wind energy. Are we developing too much? Too little? I’m told there are new policies in the work that would require companies like Xcel to have a decommissioning policy for their wind farms.

Do you think Xcel might like to have Burgum’s ear on those issues? Of course they would. And they got it. While he was in their private football suite, enjoying their hospitality during one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

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Accepting these tickets to the game was inappropriate. By contrast Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton reportedly paid his own way to the big game which was hosted in his state, a cost of about $6,000.

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