ND regulators say donations don't violate policy

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two North Dakota public service commissioners say they're not violating any agency policy by reviewing a coal mine permit application.

Opponents of the coal mine near South Heart in southwestern North Dakota want Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk to abstain from making any decisions on the project.

Cramer and Kalk have gotten some campaign donations from supporters of the proposed Stark County mine.

Kalk says campaign money won't influence his decisions. Cramer says the coal mine opponents are misinterpreting agency policy on conflicts of interest.(backslash)

He says the policy is meant to apply in circumstances when a commissioner or a relative is benefiting personally from a project. Cramer says the proposed coal mine doesn't benefit him or any member of his family.