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Senate rejects adding a solar power representative to the state's EmPower commission

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The state Senate has rejected a bill to add a solar energy representative to the state’s EmPower Commission.

The bill came out of the Energy and Natural Resources Commission with a 6-0 “do not pass” recommendation.

"The question is — do we want to legitimize solar energy in North Dakota," said Sen. Jeff Magrum (R-Hazelton). "In my home county, they passed a 15-year moratorium on solar. We realize it is not a legitimate energy source in North Dakota."

Sen. Mark Weber (R-Casselton) sponsored the bill.

"If the energy commission is to be replaced with a better structure for developing future energy policy, a green light today will send a message that solar — no matter how small they are — needs a place at the table, if we're serious about a comprehensive energy policy for the future," Weber said.

The measure failed on a vote of 31 to 16.

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