RPS Collaborative Case Note on North Dakota v. Minnesota PUC

April 24, 2014

by Carolyn Elefant, State-Federal RPS Collaborative

On April 18th, a Minnesota federal district court issued a decision in State of North Dakota et. al., v. Heydinger, Chair of the Minnesota PUC, concluding that the Minnesota law, which seeks to control carbon emissions from power plants, inappropriately reached beyond the state’s borders to regulate activity in neighboring states. This is one of several recent cases involving state energy policies and the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Minnesota will appeal the decision. But, as attorney Carolyn Elefant explains in a brief case note for the RPS Collaborative, the decision is unlikely to impact most RPS programs, because the reasons why the law was determined to be unconstitutional generally do not apply to most RPS programs.