BISMARCK, N.D. – Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann today received the North Dakota Republican Party’s endorsement to serve another term in the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC). The convention took place at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks where Christmann received unanimous support from the convention delegates.
In his acceptance speech to the delegates, the Christmann highlighted the PSC’s leadership in regulating and expanding crucial services in the state of North Dakota, including gas and electric utilities.
“We all like low rates, but we also need to make sure the providers have the necessary resources to provide safe and dependable service,” said Christmann. “Well, I am glad to report that in North Dakota our regulated utilities have excellent reliability statistics and some of the lowest residential electric rates in the nation.”
Among the greatest responsibilities of the PSC the past five years has been its work in siting and permitting major transmission lines and energy conversion facilities. The PSC has approved more than $9 billion in energy infrastructure projects, or an average $150 million per month since 2012.
“These projects take trucks off the road, reduce flaring, move our products more safely and more efficiently, enhance revenue for mineral owners, create thousands of jobs, grow our economy and enhance America’s energy independence,” said Christmann. “This part of our job has been almost overwhelming at times these past five years, but we have made sure these investments are built to North Dakota’s high safety standards.”
“I am excited to continue this important work of making our processes even more efficient and effective and to growing this great state of North Dakota.”
By Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK—Two major oil and gas projects approved Wednesday by the North Dakota Public Service Commission aim to improve pipeline safety, meet local demand for diesel and reduce natural gas flaring in the state.
Commissioners approved a project from Cenex Pipeline LLC that will upgrade a portion of a refined fuels pipeline in northwest North Dakota that was built in 1960. However, the company does not have easement agreements to begin construction along 22 percent of the pipeline route.
Also Wednesday, commissioners approved the Arrow Bear Den gas plant near Watford City to process growing volumes of natural gas in the core of the Bakken.
Commission Chairman Randy Christmann said the two projects combined total more than $250 million in economic activity for the state.
AMY DALRYMPLE, Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairman Randy Christmann announced Thursday he is seeking re-election.
Christmann, a Republican, was elected to the commission in 2012 and is seeking a second six-year term.
He said he wants to continue serving the public by ensuring reliable and affordable utility rates, overseeing safety and land reclamation programs and balancing energy development with protecting natural resources.
The three-member commission oversees electric and gas utilities, energy plant and transmission sitings, coal mine reclamation, pipeline safety, grain elevators and other areas.
“It is vitally important that the commission retain a balanced approach to regulation of the industries we oversee,” Christmann said.
Randy Christmann, today, announced he would be seeking re-election to the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC). He has served as a PSC Commissioner since 2012 and is currently its chairperson.
“I have been honored to represent the people of North Dakota as their Public Service Commissioner,” said Christmann. “And I am gratified by the trust the voters have placed in me to serve the public interest.”
Christmann said, “For the PSC, “serving the public” is defined by ensuring consumers get reliable and affordable utility rates, that our state’s commercial measuring devices are accurate, that our state’s safety programs are well-executed and truly protect people, that mine and wind farm land is reclaimed in a manner that restores productivity and beauty, that property owners are treated with respect and dignity, that our state’s natural resources are developed responsibly to enhance our state’s economic needs and America’s energy independence, and that we conduct the business of the PSC within the letter of the law and our state constitution.”
“I am proud of our record of success,” continued Christmann. “During my time as commissioner, North Dakotans have enjoyed some of the lowest utility rates in the nation. Our mine and wind farm reclamation programs are a model for the rest of the nation. And our state has seen over $8 billion in new energy development infrastructure sited and approved by the commission.”
In conclusion, Christmann said, “It is vitally important that the commission retain a balanced approach to regulation of the industries we oversee. We can and will protect the environment and responsibly develop North Dakota’s God-given resources for the benefit of its citizens.”
Prior to the PSC, Christmann served in the North Dakota Senate representing District 33 for 18 years. He and his wife, Bethanie, own a cattle ranch west of Hazen, ND. Christmann is a veteran of the N.D. National Guard and a graduate of NDSU, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is a member of the N.D. Lignite Research Council, the N.D. Stockmen’s Association, N.D. Farm Bureau, the National Rifle Association and a former Director of the N.D. Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved two sets of rule changes that impact wind farm lighting and future decommissioning at the end of their use.
“A half century ago our ancestors made a commitment to ensure that our coal mines would be reclaimed when the prairie became quiet again,” said Commission Chairman Randy Christmann. “These new rules demonstrate a renewed commitment by our generation to ensure that North Dakota’s beautiful landscape will be returned to its splendor when these giant wind turbines reach the end of their usefulness.”
One of rule change packages addresses decommissioning and ensures that wind turbines are removed and the land reclaimed when taken out of service. This rule package seeks to assure that money is available for decommissioning and reclamation and enhances the decommissioning requirements for future projects. The PSC has been responsible for North Dakota’s coal mine reclamation program since 1970 and used that as a basis for these new rules.
The other rule change package addresses wind tower lighting. They allow preference to be given to wind energy projects that commit to installing light mitigation technology to offset the continuously blinking red lights. The new technology would require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The rule changes still need to be examined by the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee before final approval.