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

Public Service Commission hearing on 'Electrification of Transportation'
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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