North Dakota prepares to sue Minnesota; no pending litigation yet

Governor Doug Burgum
Governor Doug Burgum(KFYR)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:11 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Industrial Commission has positioned the state to enter a lawsuit against our neighbors to the east.

Last week, the Democrat-controlled Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill aimed at promoting clean energy, which would require electric utilities to be generated by methods other than fossil fuels by 2040. Monday, a board made up of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Ag Commissioner voted unanimously to prepare the state for a lawsuit, which includes allocating $1 million of coal research dollars toward litigation efforts.

“I think we all care deeply about clean air and clean water, so we can share those aspirations that our neighbors have in Minnesota. This is really about an understanding of the facts of law that states can’t regulate their neighboring states,” said Governor Doug Burgum.

A similar situation arose when Minnesota passed a law in 2007 that would have banned the importation of coal power from new sources. North Dakota sued then, and it was struck down in the courts.

The Commission hasn’t yet voted on whether to sue. Monday’s meeting simply poised the state to act, should Minnesota Governor Tim Walz sign the bill into law.