• North Dakota v. Minnesota
  • November 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Kutak Rock LLP - Omaha Office
  • The second GHG case of recent note involves North Dakota’s lawsuit against Minnesota, a hearing on which was held October 17, 2013 in federal court in Minneapolis.

    In November 2011, North Dakota, along with several North Dakota utility and coal companies, sued Minnesota over the state’s “Next Generation Energy Act,” parts of which address climate change by imposing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions that occur both “within the state” and from “generation of electricity imported from outside the state” - i.e., coal generation transmitted from North Dakota coal fields over interstate transmission lines to Minnesota consumers.

    North Dakota argues that Minnesota’s “import restriction” violates the Commerce Clause because it attempts to regulate activity occurring wholly outside its state - i.e., the generation of electricity - something which North Dakota argues the Constitution prohibits.

    Judging from media reports, the judge hearing the case appears skeptical of the Minnesota law [http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/228274571.html].