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Politics & Government

PSC mulling lawsuit response

The Public Service Commission is working on its response to two lawsuits brought by environmental groups. More from Prairie Public's Dave Thompson.

The Dakota Resource Council has sued Commission members – saying those elected commissioners should be disqualified from regulating companies from which they have taken campaign contributions. The DRC and Sierra Club have also sued Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to force the feds to take over North Dakota’s coal reclamation program, for the same reason.

"I would have a hard time finding ten people in North Dakota who think that would be a good idea," said Commissioner Kevin Cramer.  The PSC is not a named party in the Salazar suit -- but Cramer thinks the PSC may want to intervene.

"I think , on behalf of the people of North Dakota, and certainly on behalf of the mining industry and all of the jobs they support, that we have a serious responsibility to involve ourselves in that case if we're able to," Cramer said. "And, better yet, get it thrown out if we're able to."

Commissioners are discussing their responses to the lawsuits. The suits were filed in federal court in Bismarck.

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