Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will tour North Dakota

Bismarck, ND – Next week members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will be in North Dakota to look at coal mines and power plants.

The PUC members are coming at the invite of the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Tony Clark is a member of the North Dakota PSC. He says Minnesota lawmakers and regulators have struggled with environmental concerns over coal-generated electricity....

"So we thought it would be a good idea for us as a commission to invite our counterparts from the other side of the river to come out and see North Dakota's energy field, get a first hand look at the coal mines, the reclamation process that we oversee here at the Public Service Commission, those power plants and really get a first hand look at it."

Clark says the Saint Cloud to Saint Paul corridor is one of the fastest growing areas in the country -- and it faces potential electrical shortages. Clark says North Dakota has the power to help provide Minnesota's growing demand.

"From their side of the border they certainly see the end product which is lights that come on and computer screens that light up, those kinds of things. There's a lot more that goes into it than just flipping on a switch so we want to be able to give them a sense of the kind of political, cultural and business climate here in North Dakota and to give them a good idea of where that power comes from."

Three members of Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission will be touring North Dakota.