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Clare Carlson, Bismarck, Published August 30 2013

Letter: PSC commissioner right about ND coal

I’m going to give Sheri McMahon the benefit of the doubt about her intentions, something she didn’t give to Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.

Whatever your view of the climate issue and effect of coal on climate change, it is an important issue to North Dakota. The coal industry provides 17,000 jobs and $3.5 billion to the North Dakota economy. Fedorchak has the courage to present her views and gets hammered with a character assassination.

I’ve known Fedorchak for a long time. I worked with her on Gov. Ed Schafer’s staff. That means she has 20 years of policy experience. I can tell you, from my experience, she is intelligent, works until the job is done and has a knack for asking the essential question that others avoid.

That’s why it is consistent with her character to bring up a subject that some might view as controversial. I can guarantee that she has analyzed the situation in detail and felt compelled to bring it to our attention.

Let’s have a vigorous public discussion about this very important public debate, but let’s skip the character assassination. We should be grateful for dedicated public servants like Fedorchak.