North Dakota Sues Minnesota Over Anti-Global Warming Law

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
11/04/2011
       
North Dakota Sues Minnesota Over Anti-Global Warming Law

On Wednesday, the state of North Dakota joined several power cooperatives in filing a lawsuit against the Attorney General of the neighboring state of Minnesota over Minnesota's restrictions on emissions from out-of-state electricity generators.  The law involved in the controversy, Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA), was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2007.
 
 

On Wednesday, the state of North Dakota joined several power cooperatives in filing a lawsuit against the Attorney General of the neighboring state of Minnesota over Minnesota's restrictions on emissions from out-of-state electricity generators.  The law involved in the controversy, Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA), was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2007.  The measure aims at limiting carbon emissions from electricity generated outside of the state, but purchased from providers for use within Minnesota.
 
North Dakota says the law is unconstitutional.
 
“Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act has direct and serious consequences for North Dakota,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem declared in a press statement accompanying the filing of the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, located in the capital city of St. Paul. In a fact sheet released to support his assertions, Stenehjem claims:

Because North Dakota is home to significant lignite reserves and lignite-powered energy plants, Defendants’ implementation of the NGEA reduces demand for North Dakota lignite and thereby harms North Dakota, its lignite industry and its citizens, as well as the coal-powered electric industry outside of Minnesota.

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