North Dakota Public Service Commission

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North Dakota Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $19,081,863
Total Seats:  3
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   6 years
Authority:  North Dakota Constitution, Article V, Section 2
Leadership:  Brian Kalk (R)
Selection Method:  Elected
Other North Dakota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service CommissionTax Commissioner
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a three person state executive board in the North Dakota state government. The commission regulates electric and gas utilities, telecommunication companies and railroads, and is responsible for siting energy plant and transmission facilities.

Current officeholder

The current commissioners are Chairman Brian Kalk, Randy Christmann, and Julie Fedorchak. [1]


The state Constitution establishes the three person public service commission in Article V, Section 2:

The qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislative assembly shall choose a governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner, attorney general, auditor, insurance commissioner, three public service commissioners, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, tax commissioner, and treasurer. ...


Article V, Section 4 of the North Dakota Constitution establishes the qualifications to hold the office of public service commissioner:

To be eligible to hold an elective office established by this article, a person must be a qualified elector of this state, must be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of the election, and must have been a resident of this state for the five years preceding election to office. To be eligible to hold the office of governor or lieutenant governor, a person must be at least thirty years old on the day of the election. The attorney general must be licensed to practice law in this state.
  • qualified North Dakota voter
  • at least 25 years old
  • a resident of North Dakota for at least the five preceding years


The commissioners are elected on a statewide basis to staggered six-year terms.


See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012

Incumbent Tony Clark (R) did not seek re-election in 2012. Randy Christmann (R) defeated Brad Crabtree (D) and Joshua Voytek (L) in the November 6, 2012 general election.

North Dakota Public Service Commission General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRandy Christmann 54.6% 164,591
     Democratic Brad Crabtree 41.1% 123,978
     Libertarian Joshua Voytek 4.3% 13,098
Total Votes 301,667
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.


Article V, Section 8 addresses vacancies in state executive offices. In the event of a vacancy, the governor nominates a successor who must be confirmed by the state senate. Once confirmed, the individual serves the remainder of the unexpired term.


The commission is responsible for regulating public utilities. The board is granted jurisdiction over railroads, telecommunications companies, pipelines, electric, and heating companies; grain elevators and warehouses; weights and measures; public auctioneers and auction clerks; the siting of energy plants and transmission facilities; reclamation of mined lands; and all other public utilities working within the state.[2] The specific duties of the commissioners are outlined in Chapter49-01 of the North Dakota Century Code:

The commission does NOT have jurisdiction over:

  • rural electric cooperatives
  • most small telephone companies
  • cable television


The commission has seven divisions:

  • The Abandoned Mine Lands Division manages a program to remove and dispose of hazards related to abandoned mines, investigates abandoned sites, designs reclamation projects, and manages construction projects.
  • The Accounting Division manages the accounting and data processing for the other divisions.
  • The Legal Division provides legal representation, advice and counsel to the commission.
  • The Licensing Division administers the licensing programs for public grain warehouses, grain and hay buyers, and auctioneers and auction clerks.
  • The Public Utility Division assists the commission with regulating electric and natural gas utilities and telecommunications companies. The division also addresses complaints, inquiries, and requests for information about public utilities.
  • The Reclamation Division enforces surface coal mining and reclamation operations state laws.
  • The Testing and Safety Division maintains standards for measuring weight, volume, and length, and also administers the gas pipeline safety programs.[2][3]

State budget

The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $19,081,863.[4]


Title 49 of the North Dakota Century Code sets the annual salary of the commissioners at $92,826 through June 30, 2012, and at $95,611 thereafter.[5] In 2010, each of the North Dakota public service commissioners was paid an estimated $85,824 according to the Council of State Governments.[6]

Contact information

North Dakota Public Service Commission
600 East Boulevard, Dept. 408
Bismarck, ND 58505-0480

Phone: 701-328-2400
Toll free: 1-877--245-6685
TTY: 1-800-245-6888
Fax: 701-328-2410

See also

External links

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