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North Dakota v. Heydinger

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20092
Nos. 11-cv-3232, (D. Minn., 04/18/2014) (Nelson, J.)

A district court held that Minnesota's New Generation Energy Act, which establishes energy and environmental standards related to carbon dioxide emissions, constitutes impermissible extraterritorial legislation and is a per se violation of the dormant Commerce Clause. The statute's plain language applies to power and capacity transactions occurring wholly outside of Minnesota’s borders. In order to ensure compliance with the law, out-of-state parties must conduct their out-of-state business according to Minnesota’s terms—i.e., engaging in no transactions involving power or capacity that would contribute to or increase Minnesota’s statewide power-sector carbon dioxide emissions. The law also improperly requires non-Minnesota merchants to seek regulatory approval before undertaking transactions with other non-Minnesota entities. The law, therefore, is unconstitutional.