Letter to the editor: Dorgan is doing well to create transmission linesThere is much conversation these days regarding North Dakota electricity transmission, because our state produces a lot of energy that’s needed in other parts of the county. More energy transmission capabilities would mean more economic development in our state.
By: Bruce Hagen, Bismarck, The Jamestown Sun
There is much conversation these days regarding North Dakota electricity transmission, because our state produces a lot of energy that’s needed in other parts of the county. More energy transmission capabilities would mean more economic development in our state.
As a senior member of the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Byron Dorgan D-N.D. has been working hard to address this issue in the new energy bill. He has put forward an electricity transmission plan as part of his legislation called the National Energy Security Act. The plan would deal with the regulatory hurdles that are holding up the development of transmission lines.
Getting new interstate transmission lines sited has been very difficult in this country. Every state has its own approval process, so even if a project would significantly benefit North Dakota, a neighboring state could block it. Dorgan’s legislation would make it easier to develop an electric grid by having regions plan together, and by increasing federal authority over siting of these interstate lines.
Dorgan’s legislation also spreads the costs of the transmission across a large region. This is important because North Dakotans shouldn’t be stuck footing the bill for new transmission lines that are built to move our vast energy resources to other states that need our electricity.
These new, large interstate transmission lines will benefit a large part of the nation. In addition to bringing new, clean energy generation online, they increase system reliability and reduce congestion.
The energy bill moving through the Senate includes a transmission provision based on Dorgan’s bill. I’m glad Dorgan is working to address this important energy issue. He’s an asset to our state as a senior member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.