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Terrence Kardong, Richardton, N.D. , Published June 17 2012

PSC editorial got to the heart

I would like to applaud The Forum for its editorial titled “Of course, PSC suit is political” (May 31). The editorial really gets to the heart of the fact that North Dakota has elected officials who are trying to avoid being held accountable.

Both Commissioners Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk’s responses to the lawsuit illustrate their disregard for the law. In their responses, neither Kalk nor Cramer actually addresses the merits of the lawsuit, and this is especially troubling.

The lawsuit details $54,000 in campaign contributions from coal companies that both Kalk and Cramer are supposed to regulate. The Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act prohibits regulators from accepting campaign contributions from coal companies that they regulate.

The lawsuit’s purpose is to make the Public Service commissioners comply with federal law. The allegations in the lawsuit are serious, and judging from Kalk and Cramer’s rather flippant responses, it appears that they do not understand or care.

Kardong is on the board of the Dakota Resource Council.