North Dakota Joins Fight Against EPA Clean Power Plan

North Dakota has joined Oklahoma and several other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its controversial Clean Power Plan.

The state’s Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem contends if the plan is not stayed, North Dakota will suffer irreparable damage to consumers. He filed documents on Friday in Washington more than a week after 25 other states went to the high court. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said like the others that the plan, if enforced by the EPA will lead to skyrocketing electricity bills.

A lawsuit was filed Oct. 23, 2015 by the states. It was filed on the day the plan was published by President Obama’s EPA. Their suit also contends the Power Plan goes beyond the EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.

The North Dakota attorney general joined the suit even as customers of Montana Dakota Utilities are being asked if they should pay for upgrades to the coal-fired power plants that could be closed in a few years under the Clean Power Plan. If the plan is adopted, customers of MDU could climb $178 a year. MDU provides electric service to parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming covering 168,000 square miles and 384,000 customers.

The Bismarck Tribune reported the Montana Public Service Commission will meet next week to decide whether to approve a 21 percent rate hike for MDU’s 26,000 electricity customers in Montana.


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