Rounds makes Energy Task Force appointments

Rounds makes Energy Task Force appointments Gov. Mike Rounds has announced his appointments to the newly formed Energy Task Force. This group will meet over the next several months to examine a number of issues relating to the generation and transmission of electricity in South Dakota. The task force has 17 members and will hold its first meeting later this month.

"Energy is one area that holds tremendous opportunity for our state," said Gov. Rounds. "I believe that by taking a careful and comprehensive look at both traditional and renewable energy resources, we can become a major player in our region. Of course, the question isn't how much energy we can produce, but also how do we transport that electricity to the markets that need it."

Although the Energy Task Force will address a variety of issues, Rounds said that he expects the group to examine the following areas:

* New and exiting electricity markets;

* Regional tax structures for power plants and wind farms;

* New transmission infrastructure;

* Wind leases in the upper Midwest;

* Interstate cooperation; and,

* Future energy development.

The task force is being funded through a grant from the United States Department of Energy to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and will be chaired by Tourism and State Development Secretary Jim Hagen. Along with Hagen, Rounds has appointed the following individuals to the task force:

* Legislators: Sen. Paul Symens, Rep. Tom Dempster and Rep. Joel Dykstra;

* 2002 Wind Energy Task Force Members: Dick Sweetman, Kathryn Johnson and Rick Rylance;

* Representatives from a cross-section of this state's energy providers: David Emery, Jim Wilcox, Vic Simmons, Jeff Nelson and Ray Wahle;

* Public Utilities commissioners Bob Sahr, Gary Hanson, and Jim Burg and Rosebud Sioux Tribal Utilities Commissioner Rod Bordeaux;

* Dusty Johnson, governor's office.

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