Public Service Commission

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said for the PSC to follow Gov. Doug Burgum’s request to find another 10 percent to cut from the PSC budget was a daunting task.

Randy Christmann said much of what the Commission does has a federal funding component to it. So he says if you took those things off the cutting table, there isn’t much “wiggle room.” So Christmann said the Commission made a very tough decision – it has recommended the elimination of the Commission’s grain licensing program.

Kroshus running for the remainder of Kalk's PSC term

Feb 6, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus (R) is seeking election to finish the remaining two years on former Commissioner Brian Kalk’s term.

Kroshus was appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum last year – and by state law, would have to run in the next statewide election if he wanted to keep his seat. Kalk resigned to take a job with the Energy and Environmental Research center in Grand Forks.

Christmann running for another 6 year term on the PSC

Jan 26, 2018

The current Chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission is running for another six-year term on the PSC.

Randy Christmann (R) was first elected in 2012. He formerly was a state Senator from Hazen. He told reporters and supporters in Bismarck he “loves his job” – and he believes in public service.

"Serving the public means making sure consumers get quality service at the best possible prices from regulated monopoly companies," Christmann said. "They don't have a choice on where to go for those services. I think we're doing that very well."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Public Service Commissioner Brain Kalk is resigning – to take a job with the Energy and Environmental Research Center, part of UND.

Kalk will become the Director of Energy Systems Development with the EERC.

"The EERC is looking for ways to develop more energy, develop it more efficiently, ways to do it cleaner," Kalk said in an interview with Prairie Public. "There are things out there that need to be environmentally cleaned up. They do a lot of good reseach up there, and a lot of good, practical applications."

PSC hiring third party construction inspectors

Jan 25, 2016

About a year ago, the Public Service Commission started hiring third party construction inspectors.

"There's a lot of infrastructure going in place in North Dakota," said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak. "And the public wants to be assured this is being done right and done well."

Fedorchak also said there were a growing number of complaints about reclamation.

So we started looking at the tools we had, as regulators," Fedorchak said. And she said hiring outside inspectors is the best tool at the Commission’s disposal.

Fedorchak announces campaign for re-election

Jan 6, 2016

Public Service Commission Chairman Julie Fedorchak has declared her candidacy for re-election to the PSC.

Fedorchak was appointed to the commission in 2012 when Kevin Cramer left for Congress.  She was then elected to the position in 2014 to finish out the remainder of that term.  This year, she is running for her own six year term on the PSC.

The House has rejected the Public Service Commission’s proposal to start inspecting railroads – and to beef up its pipeline inspection program.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple had proposed those in his executive budget. And House Democrats attempted to add those back in to the PSC’s budget.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission says she’s disappointed that legislators so far have cut the proposed rail safety program from the PSC budget request.

But Julie Fedorchak says she’s not giving up the fight.

"I think that the program, as we presented it, is a modest investment and a good place to start," said Fedorchak. "It has the potential to make a real difference in the safety and efficiency of the rail system."

PSC wants to add a weights and measures inspector

Dec 8, 2014

It’s one of the lesser known jobs of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

When you fill up your gas tank, deliver grain to an elevator or fill a cup with frozen yogurt, all of the amounts are measured. Making sure those measurements are accurate is the PSC’s duty.

Governor Dalrymple’s budget is proposing increasing the PSC weights and measures staff by one person – bringing to four the number of inspectors.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission is holding its Reliability Conference in Fargo.

Democratic candidates for PSC Tyler Axness and Todd Reisenauer say it is "ironic" that the PSC would hold the conference in Fargo, where several power outages have occurred as recently as this summer.  Reisenauer says the meeting looks more like a "campaign event" and that electric reliability issues for Fargo residents need to be taken more seriously.