Nancy Eberts, Published February 13 2011
Cramer’s motives highly suspectHow can North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer be trusted to make decisions for the good of the people when he is getting “campaign contributions” from the very people he is expected to regulate?
To say a $9,800 donation from Corbin Robertson, head of the parent company of Great Northern Power Development, is a “conflict of interest” has got to be the understatement of the century. Not only did Cramer get a “campaign contribution” from GNPD, as well as many other individuals associated with this project, but he has been quoted numerous times voicing support for their coal project.
If a judge walked into a courtroom and hugged the defendant before actually hearing a case, wouldn’t that raise a few eyebrows?
Cramer’s job on the Public Service Commission is supposed to be “to protect the public interest and regulating utilities, mining companies and licensees in a fair, efficient, responsive and cooperative manner.”
I don’t know how concerned Cramer is with protecting the public, considering he serves on the Lignite Research Council, whose sole mission is “to preserve and enhance the lignite industry.” Cramer was a member of the LRC when they decided to give GNPD $10 million to study the feasibility of a coal facility near South Heart.
It’s obvious Cramer’s mind has been made up about this coal project for some time. In the interest of transparency and regulating in a fair and responsible manner, Cramer needs to recuse himself from any decision-making where GNPD is concerned. The people of North Dakota deserve better.