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PSC decides to have a substitute stand in for its decision on a CO2 pipeline

Dave Thompson
Public Service Commission hearing on 'Electrification of Transportation'

North Dakota’s Public Service Commissioners have informally agreed to have someone sit in for a Commission member who has recused herself to decide a siting case for a big carbon dioxide pipeline project.

Commission Chairman Julie Fedorchak is recusing herself, because she and her husband have land in Oliver County, and have signed a contract with Summit Carbon Solutions to store the CO2 on their land. When she recused herself, she suggested the PSC name a temporary replacement, to fill out the three member commission on that siting issue.

Commissioner Randy Christmann said naming someone to participate in the decision is a good idea, for several reasons.

"These cases can sometimes take quite a few months," Christmann said. "And a huge amount of investment from the companies and the intervenors, or people actively involved in the case."

Christmann said you can get several months into a case like this, and then something would happen to one of the two commissioners, and may not be able to continue with the case.

"And then, all of a sudden, we would have to start over, because there isn't a quorum," Christmann said.

The PSC directed Commission staff to suggest some names, and a decision on whom will be chosen will be made soon.

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