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Rep. Ed Gruchalla, Fargo, Published April 17 2012

Where’s outrage about ND PSC?

Two of our Public Service commissioners have taken thousands of dollars from a coal company. This company is trying to get a permit for a new coal mine in western North Dakota. We realize that in North Dakota almost anything goes. But even we have to draw the line.

We have one of the weakest conflict-of-interest laws in the U.S. We depend on people’s morals and integrity to guide them when they make important decisions for our state. For these two commissioners to take campaign money from companies they regulate while they are pondering their decision is the most egregious conflict of interest in recent memory. In some jurisdictions, this behavior could be construed as criminal.

They should be forced to repay this money and issue an apology to the people of North Dakota.

Gruchalla, D-Fargo, has represented District 45 in the North Dakota House since 2007.