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Forum editorial: Peterson's EPA vote wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., for joining three other Democrats and U.S. House Republicans in attempting to slow the Environmental Protection Agency's drive to regulate pollution said to contribute to global warming. A bill wou...

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PRAIRIE ROSES: To Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., for joining three other Democrats and U.S. House Republicans in attempting to slow the Environmental Protection Agency's drive to regulate pollution said to contribute to global warming. A bill would bar the EPA from using federal law to control greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries and other industrial sources. Critics of the EPA contend the agency is overreaching and that its proposed regulations could set back a fragile economic recovery. The argument is reasonable. Slowing down an agency that sometimes seems out of control is a legitimate legislative role. Peterson is taking the right approach at this time.

LEAFY SPURGE: To pipeline companies that resist scrutiny and regulation designed to protect the environment. The latest is TransCanada, builder of the Keystone pipeline in North Dakota. Watchdog groups want environmental statements regarding spurs associated with main pipelines. That seems reasonable since the so-called onramps do indeed change and expand the scope and impact the initial pipeline project. The major line in question runs from Canada to the Gulf Coast. If the line's impact is greater because of spurs, the responsibility for safe operation is greater.

LEAFY SPURGE: To Rep. Gary Sukut, R-Williston, N.D., for suggesting a constitutional amendment to return a portion of the state's surplus to taxpayers. This is a small bundle of spurge because Sukut's resolution does stimulate discussion about the potential for returning surplus revenues to taxpayers. The discussion is fine, but a constitutional amendment is not the best way to accomplish that purpose. Revenue and taxation conditions can change quickly. A provision in the constitution might not be flexible enough to deal with rapid change. That should be the Legislature's job.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To North Dakota's Board of Higher Education for at last coming out firmly against legislation that aims to preserve the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux logo. The board was slow to express itself about the bill, even though the board has worked for more than five years to retire the logo. The board should have been upfront sooner. However, the legislation is flawed in so many ways that the board had to oppose it. Should the bill clear the state Senate and become law in its current form, the state could face lengthy and expensive litigation, while UND is left to deal with a kind of logo limbo. There is nothing in the current bill to recommend its passage.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

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