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Forum Editorial Board, Published April 27 2009

Forum edtiorial: Minnesota PUC wins the spurge

LEAFY SPURGE: To the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for its apparent attempt to violate the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by charging fees for North Dakota’s coal-produced electricity. The North Dakota Public Service Commission has protested Minnesota’s move, but thus far has not had a satisfactory answer from the PUC. The arrogance from Minnesota apparently is predicated on some holier-than-thou environmental sensibility, since the fees are designed to make coal-generated power less attractive in the energy market, and thus reduce usage and carbon dioxide emissions. But while the goal might be noble – if unrealistic – the fees interfere with interstate commerce and would seem to violate the commerce clause. Furthermore, the PUC refuses to recognize the major progress North Dakota has made in reducing power plant emissions.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the organizers of Fargo’s Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament for securing appearances by actor/baseball fan Billy Crystal and sports broadcaster Bob Costas. The headliners for a sporting event don’t get any bigger than those two celebrities. Crystal has a special place in his heart for the late Roger Maris, and Costas has been to Fargo before and always speaks highly of the charity event. One need not be a golfer, or even a baseball fan, to appreciate the impact of bringing two major personalities to town.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To area Minnesota legislators who are trying mightily to explain to constituents the dire condition of the state’s budget. Of course, it’s their job to tell Minnesotans what’s going on, what’s falling apart, what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. But the state’s financial condition is as bad as it’s been in recent times, so the work of legislators to right the ship is especially difficult. Not only are they working overtime in St. Paul, they also are getting back to their districts as often as possible to report the mostly bad news. At this point it looks like taxes will go up and services will be cut. That’s a deadly combination for elected officials. They know it and are doing their level best to help voters understand why it’s happening. Not a fun job these days.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To the staff and advisers of the West Fargo High School student newspaper and yearbook for winning top honors in a recent competition among high school publications. The paper won the sweepstakes award, the first time as a solo winner. The yearbook won sweepstakes honors for the sixth year in a row. Nice to see students serious about newspapers and writing.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.