North Dakota PSC member to head NARUC’s clean coal group

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Lisa Edgar of Florida appointed Commissioner Brian Kalk of North Dakota to lead the association’s Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration.

Kalk, formerly vice chair of the subcommittee, replaces outgoing Subcommittee Chair Jon McKinney of West Virginia, who recently retired from the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Edgar also appointed Commissioner Asim Haque of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as the subcommittee’s Vice Chair.

The Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration is an affiliate of NARUC’s Committee of Electricity. As demand grows for cleaner sources of fuel, the Clean Coal and Carbon Sequestration Subcommittee explores ways to promote the use of lower-emission coal. This subcommittee helps educate NARUC members on the issues surrounding coal usage and new developments for carbon sequestration and storage.

“As State economic regulators, our chief priorities are the safe, reliable, and affordable delivery of utility services,” said President Edgar in a Jan. 12 statement. “We must make sure all fuels are utilized as safely and efficiently as possible, and that reliability of the grid is maintained. This Subcommittee will give our members opportunities to share best practices and determine whether and how clean-coal projects make sense for their State. I also wish to thank Commissioner McKinney for his steadfast leadership of this committee and his service to West Virginia ratepayers.”

Kalk was first elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in November 2008, and was recently reelected to a second term. He is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Electricity. North Dakota is heavily reliant on both the production and consumption of North Dakota lignite for power generation.

“These are complex times in the regulated utility industry,” said Commissioner Kalk. “NARUC and this committee will play key roles in educating our membership on the costs and benefits of clean-coal technologies. To meet our nation’s electricity demand, we need an all-of-the-above energy policy. I look forward to working with my colleagues and building upon Commissioner McKinney’s strong record.”

Haque was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio by Gov. John Kasich in 2013, and currently serves as vice-chairman.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently has in the proposal stage both a CO2-reducing plan for new coal-fired power plants that mandates CO2 capture and control systems, and the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants. Each state has been given the leeway under the Clean Power Plan to come up with its own compliance blueprint.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.