The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule that decides how much coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy North Dakota and each other state should use and how much less electricity North Dakota consumers should use. If finalized unchanged, EPA’s proposed rule would require at least a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from existing power plants in the United States by 2030. EPA’s comment period ends on Dec. 1, 2014.
The EPA’s proposal to tell North Dakota consumers how much electricity they can consume and dictate how it will be produced appears to go way beyond their jurisdiction,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann. “This infringement on the responsibilities of the PSC and North Dakota providers of electricity could put the dependability and affordability of our entire electric system at risk.”
The Commission held a “Symposium on EPA Carbon Regulation” in January and a conference in September titled “Electric Reliability: Keeping the Lights on in North Dakota.” During these events the Commission heard from federal representatives, the ND Department of Health, electric utilities and the interested public. The Commission is now reaching out to utilities and the general public and inviting written comments. Utilities under direct jurisdiction of the PSC will be receiving specific questions to answer when formulating their comments. Municipal electric utilities, electric cooperatives or any interested stakeholder are also invited to submit their written comments.
· Comments must be received by October 28, 2014
· Regulated utilities must formulate their comments around the questions provided to them
· Comments must be received in writing – may be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to North Dakota Public Service Commission, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 408, Bismarck, ND 58505
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a constitutionally created state agency with authority to permit, site and regulate certain business activities in the state including electric and gas utilities, telecommunications companies, power plants, electric transmission lines, pipelines, railroads, grain elevators, auctioneers, commercial weighing devices, pipeline safety and coal mine reclamation. For more information, contact the Public Service Commission at (701) 328-2400 or www.psc.nd.gov.