The Roundup -

Doug Kaercher, Candidate For Public Service Commissioner, Visits Sidney


August 8, 2018 | View PDF

Doug Kaercher

Among the many fairgoers at the annual Richland County Fair was Doug Kaercher, the Havre native who is running for Public Service Commissioner in District I. Kaercher, who has served as the Havre Finance Director and Clerk, an administrative law judge for the State Tax Appeal Board, a Hill County Commissioner and as a Havre City Councilman, spoke with The Roundup about his aspirations for the Public Service Commission.

Explaining his role as an administrative law judge, Kaecher said, "When you disagree with the state on your property taxes, you can appeal them to the State Tax Appeal Board, if you disagree with the assessment of the County Tax Appeal Board. I started that in 2007 and went until 2012. I then came back to Havre and became the Finance Director up until that time."

Kaercher said, "I want to run for PSC for a couple different reasons. First, if you look at my background it's pretty diverse. I like challenges and I especially like challenges where I can make a difference. In this case, I believe the PSC has a tendency to work on the adversarial side to industry, and I'm a certified mediator."

Kaercher, who is running on the Democratic ticket, further explained, "Right now all of the current PSC commissioners are Republican and I believe in balance. I want Richland County voters to know that I am a reasonable and responsible choice."

"I want to make sure the industry stays healthy," Kaercher continued, "that they get a return on their investment, and that it stays healthy. That's what I want people to understand. I'm fair. I've been an administrative law judge, and I know how to deal with companies and know if they're getting a reasonable rate of return."

The candidate has been married to Darla for 32 years and has three married daughters with two grandchildren, with one son-in-law who is in the army special forces. He spoke of the importance of alternative energy production in Montana.

"One of the things that this commission needs to work on is that it's not friendly to renewable resources. I support 'all of the above.' I support coal because it's our base power, but I also support solar and wind because at some point in the future we're going to need it. The current PSC has made production of solar and wind almost impossible."

"Solar and wind is currently cheaper than coal with federal subsidies," Keacher asserted in his appeal for Montana to become more business friendly to alternative energy.

Kaecher was asked why Richland County voters would want to invest in solar and wind energy through federal subsidies when it is powered by clean coal in the free market. He responded, "We're likely to need more energy in the future. We're probably going to start using considerably more energy and will need those items. I can't say it's true in Montana, but it is in the West generally, that we will not be using coal-powered electricity because of the public perception of coal."

"I think the message I want to convey is that I'm responsible, reasonable, and bringing balance to the commission," Keacher said.


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