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Letter to the editor: Bold, innovative leadership needed on the N.D. PSC

What we have now are weekly, if not twice-a-week, reports of pipelines leaking either oil or salt water into North Dakota soil and water supplies. The North Dakota Public Service Commission, which has the authority to regulate the safety of these pipelines, is on record saying that there is a “quagmire” of regulatory agencies that makes responding to major disasters a problem with not one organization taking the lead. Other times these commissioners are saying they already have things under control, or they question whether it is their job to be involved. To me this is a very troubling way of doing business.

What we can have are Tyler Axness and Todd Reisenauer, who want to effectively serve the people as members of the PSC. They have not only pointed out the failed leadership on the current PSC, which has allowed a major oil spill by Tioga, N.D., to go undetected for days, resulting in a three football-field-size area needing to be cleaned up. The current PSC also allowed an illegal pipeline to be in the ground for two years before saying it wouldn’t issue any consequences. By contrast, Axness and Reisenauer have proposed a verification of the integrity of pipelines program, which would put a stop to this “quagmire” and these needless and costly weekly spills and leaks. Farmers should not have to be reporting the leaks on their land. Axness and Reisenauer are proposing bold, new leadership that will once more instill a sense of trust in the PSC, showing it does exist for the safety and well-being of our citizens, landowners and businesses.

I lived in western North Dakota for more than 25 years and know the beauty of that part of the state. I am voting for Axness and Reisenauer for PSC this November. I know their bold and innovative leadership will be to create a safer and better North Dakota.