The North Dakota Republican Party issued a press release Thursday afternoon about statements made Thursday by state Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, who said a zoning ordinance favored by Public Service Commission candidate Brad Crabtree had a bad outcome for wind energy development in Dickey County.
Crabtree, the Democratic-NPL candidate, is running against Republican incumbent Kevin Cramer for one of three spots on the state’s Public Service Commission.
Here’s the press release about Brandenburg’s comments:
BISMARCK, ND- Rep. Mike Brandenburg (R-Edgeley), a leading wind energy authority in the North Dakota legislature, testified Thursday to how wind rights ordinances supported by environmental activist and PSC candidate Brad Crabtree have destroyed wind energy development in Dickey County.
Brandenburg said that a zoning ordinance pushed by Crabtree effectively halted wind energy development in Spring Valley Township, noting that this reality provides a stark contrast with Crabtree’s general rhetoric on renewable energy. Multiple affected Dickey County landowners asked Brandenburg to speak on behalf of their experience as victims of Crabtree’s wind policies.
“If Brad Crabtree does to North Dakota what he did to Dickey County, the only new wind towers will be those powered by his hot air,” said Rep. Brandenburg. “The bottom line is that Brad’s policies have brought wind energy development in Dickey County to a standstill.”
Crabtree was instrumental in pushing for the Spring Valley Township Zoning Ordinance, which restricted how landowners may lease property for use by wind developers. As a member of the township’s planning commission, Crabtree shepherded the ordinance’s formulation and passage.
Among other adverse economic impacts, the ordinance has been specifically cited by wind power developers as cause for not building wind towers in Dickey County. Meanwhile, the PSC is reviewing a proposed MISO extension of the 345 kV Brookings line into Ellendale, making the regulatory views of future commissioners critical to North Dakota’s energy future.
“As a paid environmental activist, Crabtree has spent his career in complete lockstep with the heavy-handed Washington approach to regulation,” said Rep. Brandenburg. “North Dakota’s energy rates are the lowest in the country thanks to the sound policies instituted by Kevin Cramer and the PSC, but Crabtree’s extreme views will cause us to lose that status.”