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Audience Questions About Renewable Energy Dominate PUC Candidates Forum In Sturgis

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Victoria Wicks
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Henry Red Cloud speaks, while incumbent Chris Nelson listens.

Two candidates for Public Utilities Commissioner came together for a forum in Sturgis on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Incumbent Chris Nelson and challenger Henry Red Cloud spent about an hour introducing themselves to the audience and answering questions, primarily about renewable energy. Questions about Keystone pipelines, both in eastern and western South Dakota, were off the table because of ongoing litigation surrounding both.

This is the only time these candidates will make a joint appearance during their campaign.

Moderator Bernadette Usera explained the duties of commissioners, who serve six-year terms: setting utility rates, resolving disputes over utility service areas, and setting policies for pipelines, alternative energy development, and grain storage.

The forum was sponsored by Dakota Rural Action and Prairie Hills Audubon Society, and it was held at the Meade County Extension Office.

Each candidate spoke for five minutes to introduce himself, and those statements were aired in their entirety during Dakota Midday on Thursday, Nov. 3.

To hear that audio, click on the arrow below:

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PUC candidates Chris Nelson and Henry Red Cloud introduce themselves to the audience.

After candidates gave opening statements, they took questions from the audience, with Usera moderating. That session lasted 40 minutes.

To hear that audio, click on the arrow below. Incumbent Chris Nelson speaks first, answering a question about renewable energy.

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Candidates answer questions from the audience. Chris Nelson speaks first, answering a question about the state of renewable energy, followed by Henry Red Cloud.

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Credit Victoria Wicks
The audience at the PUC candidates' forum.

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