Basin Electric joins in lawsuit against MN

(l to r): Ron Harper of Basin Electric, David Straley of North American Coal, John Dwyer of the Lignite Energy Council, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

A Minnesota law could affect how Basin Electric serves its membership, so the cooperative is joining the state of North Dakota’s lawsuit against Minnesota, claiming they violate the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause.

The Minnesota law prohibits the importing of electricity from new, large coal-based resources and from entering into certain power purchase agreements from coal-based facilities unless a utility has incorporated off-sets to reduce carbon dioxide.

Basin Electric serves about a dozen electric cooperatives in Minnesota. Basin Electric CEO Ron Harper says the Minnesota law could have detrimental effects for power generators across the upper Midwest.

“To single out and ignore a reliable source of generating electricity does not make sense,” Harper says. “Coal is the most plentiful source we have in the United States and it produces half the country’s electricity.”

Watch the video taken at the Nov. 2 news conference held in Stenehjem’s office.

Read more about the lawsuit on Basin Electric’s public website.

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