North Dakota Wins Coal Related Lawsuit Against Minnesota

Now that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Minnesota’s restrictions on out-of-state coal-fired plants, the state of North Dakota wants Minnesota to pay its $300,000 legal tab run up in fighting the rules.

The Eighth Circuit recently ruled in favor of North Dakota in its legal fight against Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act which tried to ban most new large power sources that increase carbon dioxide emissions from being added to Minnesota’s energy mix.

The court ruled a key part of the 2007 law is unconstitutional.  Under the law, energy from coal-fired plants that were constructed in North Dakota since 2007 cannot be sold to Minnesotans. It prompted North Dakota and three electric co-ops that have Minnesota customers to file a lawsuit in 2011, claiming the Minnesota law was an attempt to regulate utilities in other states.

The court agreed and said only Congress can make rules about interstate commerce.



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