Cramer Responds to Ruling in Favor of ND Public Service Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer responded to the U.S. District Court ruling in favor of the North Dakota Public Service Commission and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. A suit filed by the Sierra Club and the Dakota Resource Council sought to strip North Dakota of its ability to regulate all surface coal mining activities on all non-federal and non-tribal lands in North Dakota.
“I am pleased with the court’s decision today. It reaffirms North Dakota’s right to regulate its own energy interests while rejecting the claims to the contrary made by radical environmental groups. Further attempts to chip away at state rights may be directed at North Dakota in the future, but this case should provide good precedent,” said Cramer.
In the court order, District Judge Daniel Hovland wrote, “The federal policy of encouraging “exclusive” state regulation was careful and deliberate. The Act’s preliminary findings explain that “because of the diversity in terrain, climate, biologic, chemical, and other physical conditions in areas subject to mining operations, the primary governmental responsibility for developing, authorizing, issuing, and enforcing regulations for surface mining and reclamation operations subject to this chapter should rest with the States.””
Prior to his election to the United States House of Representatives, Cramer served on the North Dakota Public Service Commission. During his tenure, beginning in 2003, Cramer dealt with all aspects of the Commission’s portfolio, including pipeline and electrical transmission siting, regulation of North Dakota’s three investor owned utilities, and management of North Dakota’s Surface Mine Coal Reclamation Act State primacy program.