State will appeal ruling against Minnesota's clean energy law

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State will appeal ruling against Minnesota's clean energy law

June 23, 2016

Minnesota will appeal a federal appellate court’s decision last week that Minnesota’s 2007 clean energy law illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday the appeal of a decision by a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state is asking for a “rehearing.” Usually, that would entail an “en banc” review by the entire Eighth Circuit bench, which has more than 12 judges. Such court petitions aren’t easy to get accepted.

In a win for North Dakota, the three-judge Eighth Circuit panel upheld a lower-court ruling that Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act interfered with federal law.

The state law takes aim at coal, restricting electricity from power plants that increase greenhouse gases. However, North Dakota claimed the law hampered its ability to sell coal-based electricity into Minnesota and therefore to build new coal power plants.

Dayton, in a news release announcing the appeal, said: “I will continue to do everything in my power to defend the state of Minnesota’s right to protect the quality of air our citizens breathe.”

In April 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson enjoined Minnesota from enforcing key parts of the Next Generation Energy Act, calling it “extraterritorial regulation.”

The appeals panel arrived at a similar conclusion, though with different reasonings.

SOURCE:  Star Tribune

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