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Sheri McMahon, Fargo, Published August 13 2013

Letter: PSC’s right-wing political hack is living in ever-smaller bubble

I don’t understand why North Dakota Public Service Commission member Julie Fedorchak didn’t just come out and explain that she is a right-wing political hack with little or no understanding of science. There’s the oh-dear that “traditional” fuel sources are threatened by “radical environmental policies.” (Forum, August 8.)

There’s the claim that she’s “all for” clean energy – but in case you haven’t noticed, when a person says they are “all for” anything, it generally means they’ll grudgingly concede whatever it is, as long as it stays in a narrowly circumscribed space.

What’s interesting is when she refers to the scientific community being “divided about our ability or even the merits of” aggressively regulating CO2. Notice she does not refer to scientists being “divided” about CO2 as a greenhouse gas – there is no scientific debate. In fact, scientists have known about CO2 heat capacity since the mid-1800s, and that CO2 will cause global warming, since at least 1938. Scientists have continuously observed the steady increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1957.

Yes, there is debate over our ability to regulate CO2 – which are primarily political, economic, and sociological debates. There are scientific complexities in terms of predicting precise effects of global warming – but there is no room for doubt about warming itself.

Folks like Fedorchak are living in a bubble which is getting smaller and smaller, but maybe she’d like to hear more about sea-level nations that have real concerns about disappearing altogether, or indigenous coastal communities in the far north that are seeing their livelihood and homes wiped out already.

Meanwhile, Xcel has been seeking a 9.25 percent rate increase in coal-friendly North Dakota, which is already being billed as an interim rate increase. Don’t forget Xcel has reported increased profits two quarters in a row. Did you get a 9.25 percent raise from your employer this year?