Hoeven: Obama 'going down the wrong path' on energy policy

Jul 3, 2013

Senator John Hoeven says President Obama is taking the wrong approach on energy.

The President wants the federal EPA to work to reduce emissions from existing and future coal fired power plants. Hoeven (R-ND) says the President’s plan is a classic over-reach.

"It's this big-government, big-regulation approach that is going to stop investment in energy development in this country," said Hoeven. He says he continues to push for a national comprehensive energy plan – that is a “states first” plan.

"We need investment in the new technologies," said Hoeven. "That's not only what produces more energy, so that we're energy secure and energy independent, but also produces better environmental stewardship. Let states like North Dakota take off with those new technologies."

Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says President Obama’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions will mean a hard hit on the pocketbooks of electric customers. Fedorchak says the costs for the pollution control will be substantial – and will be passed on to rate-payers.

"Big Stone in South Dakota added a scrubber that cost $405 million," said Fedorcak. "If you translate that to rate payers, it's several hundred dollars over the course of the project."

Fedorchak says she's not saying companies shouldn't install more pollution control equipment, but she wants consumers to go in with their eyes open. She also says she’s concerned that the President may be looking to replace what works with what sounds good.

"Renewables are too volatile and fluctuating," said Fedorchak. "You need baseload generation. And that means coal, gas and nuclear."

Fedorchak says coal works as a stable, reliable and affordable source of power generation.