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Carbon Cap and Trade: National Policy, Local Impact

According to a report issued in April 2009 by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, federal carbon cap and trade legislation is expected to increase South Dakotans' electric bills by an average of 48 percent.

The report, requested by PUC Commissioners Dusty Johnson, Steve Kolbeck and Gary Hanson used information from national experts and area utilities to calculate the impact on ratepayers. The report also laid out a number of "carbon regulation principles" the commissioners said should be part of any federal cap and trade program. The principles included calls for low-cost or free carbon credits to be initially allocated to utilities, the widespread use of carbon offsets, and structuring the program to allow sufficient time for the development of new technologies necessary to comply with aggressive carbon reduction goals.

Read the full South Dakota report "Carbon Cap and Trade: National Policy, Local Impact"

Read power providers' reports:
Black Hills Power
BHP Congressional Briefing Presentation, March 2009
    BHP Attachment A, Coal Generation by State
    BHP Attachment B, U.S. Senators' letter to Sen. Reid & Sen. Boxer
    BHP Attachment C, U.S. Senators' letter to Sen. Conrad & Sen. Gregg
MidAmerican Energy Company
Missouri River Energy Services
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.
NorthWestern Energy
Otter Tail Power Company
Xcel Energy

In March 2009, the PUC hosted a public forum about the carbon cap and trade issue. Presenters representing South Dakota's investor-owned utilities and wholesale power providers as well as staff from the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners and the Environmental Law and Policy Center offered their perspectives about proposed carbon legislation.

Listen to the audio archive of the forum (3 hours, 8 minutes) and view presentations below. See the forum agenda for specific audio time codes related to each presenter.  

Forum Presentations
Steve Willard, South Dakota Electric Utility Companies
Steve Tomac, Basin Electric Power Cooperative
Tom Heller, Missouri River Energy Services
Mike McDowell, Heartland Consumers Power District