825 F.3d 912 (8th Cir. 2016), 14-2156, State of North Dakota v. Heydinger

Docket Nº:14-2156, 14-2251
Citation:825 F.3d 912
Opinion Judge:LOKEN, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:State of North Dakota, et al., Plaintiffs - Appellees/Cross Appellants v. Beverly Heydinger, Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, et al., Defendants - Appellants/Cross Appellees American Wind Energy Association, et al., Amici on Behalf of Appellants, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, et al., Amici on Behalf of Appellees
Attorney:For State of North Dakota, Industrial Commission of North Dakota (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiffs - Appellants: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN; Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General, Attorney General's Office, Bismarck, ...
Judge Panel:Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges. MURPHY, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. COLLOTON, Circuit Judge, concurring in the judgment. MURPHY (In Part); COLLOTON MURPHY, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
Case Date:June 15, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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825 F.3d 912 (8th Cir. 2016)

State of North Dakota, et al., Plaintiffs - Appellees/Cross Appellants

v.

Beverly Heydinger, Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, et al., Defendants - Appellants/Cross Appellees

American Wind Energy Association, et al., Amici on Behalf of Appellants,

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, et al., Amici on Behalf of Appellees

Nos. 14-2156, 14-2251

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 15, 2016

Submitted October 21, 2015.

Appeals from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For State of North Dakota, Industrial Commission of North Dakota (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiffs - Appellants: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN; Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General, Attorney General's Office, Bismarck, ND.

For Lignite Energy Council (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiff: Brian Raymond Bjella, Paul Forster, Crowley & Fleck, Bismarck, ND; Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN.

For Basin Electric Power Cooperative (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiff - Appellant: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN; Casey Jacobson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Office of General Counsel, Bismarck, ND; Claire M. Olson, Bismarck, ND.

For The North American Coal Corporation, Great Northern Properties Limited Partnership (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiffs - Appellants: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN.

For Missouri Basin Municipal Power Agency, doing business as: Missouri River Energy Services (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiff - Appellant: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN; William Taylor, Woods & Fuller, Sioux Falls, SD.

For Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (14-2156, 14-2251), Plaintiff - Appellant: Thomas Henry Boyd, John A. Knapp, Brent A. Lorentz, Christina Rieck Loukas, Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, MN; Gerad Paul, General Counsel, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc., Grand Forks, ND.

For Beverly Heydinger, Commissioner and Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, David C. Boyd, Commissioner, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Nancy Lange, Commissioner and Vice Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Dan M. Lipschultz, Commissioner, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Betsy Wergin, Commissioner, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Mike Rothman, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Commerce, each in his or her official capacity (14-2156, 14-2251), Defendants - Appellees: Lisa A. Crum, Assistant Attorney General, Michael Everson, Assistant Attorney General, John Steven Garry, Assistant Attorney General, Alethea Marie Huyser, Assistant Attorney General, Attorney General's Office, Saint Paul, MN.

For American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, National Mining Association (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellant(s): Peter S. Glaser, Troutman Sanders LLP, Washington, DC; Patrick Florian Hofer, Troutman & Sanders, Washington, DC.

For Chamber of Commerce of the United States (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Joshua J. Fougere, Roger R. Martella, Eric Dean McArthur, Maureen B. Soles, Sidley & Austin, Washington, DC; Sheldon Gilbert, Kathryn L. Comerford Todd, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC.

For Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Benjamin L. Gerber, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul, MN.

For National Association of Manufacturers (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Linda E. Kelly, Quentin Riegel, National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, DC.

For American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Richard Moskowitz, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Washington, DC.

For Mountain States Legal Foundation (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Steven J. Lechner, Esq., Maegan L. Woita, Mountain States Legal Foundation, Lakewood, CO.

For American Public Power Association, Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellant(s): John M. Baker, Erin Sindberg Porter, Karl Christopher Procaccini, Greene & Espel, Minneapolis, MN.

For Pacific Legal Foundation, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellant(s): Jonathan Wood, Pacific Legal Foundation, Sacramento, CA.

For Solar Energy Industries Association (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s) : Richard Umoff, Solar Energy Industries Association, Washington, DC.

For Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellee(s): Sean H. Donahue, Donahue & Goldberg, Washington, DC.

For Fresh Energy, Issac Walton League of America - Midwest Office, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellee(s): Scott R. Strand, Minneosta Center For Environmental Advocacy, Saint Paul, MN.

For Steven Gaw, Steven Weissman (14-2156, 14-2251), Amici on Behalf of Appellee(s): Mark Norman Templeton, University of Chicago Law School K202, Chicago, IL.

For American Wind Energy Association (14-2156, 14-2251), Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s): Eugene Grace, Senior Counsel, American Wind Energy Associatnion, Washington, DC.

Before LOKEN, MURPHY, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges. MURPHY, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. COLLOTON, Circuit Judge, concurring in the judgment.

OPINION

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LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

A 2007 Minnesota statute provides that " no person shall . . . (2) import or commit to import from outside the state power from a new large energy facility that would contribute to statewide power sector carbon dioxide emissions; or (3) enter into a new long-term power purchase agreement that would increase statewide power sector carbon dioxide emissions." Minn. Stat. § 216H.03, subd. 3(2) and (3). The State of North Dakota, three non-profit cooperative entities that provide electric power to rural and municipal utilities in Minnesota, and others brought this action against the Commissioners of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (" MPUC" ) and the Minnesota Department of Commerce (" MDOC" ) (collectively, " the State" ). Plaintiffs claimed, inter alia, that these prohibitions violate the Commerce Clause. After extensive submissions and argument, the district court1 granted plaintiffs summary judgment and a permanent injunction, concluding that the above-quoted provisions are " impermissible extraterritorial legislation" and therefore " a

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per se violation of the dormant Commerce Clause." North Dakota v. Heydinger, 15 F.Supp.3d 891, 919 (D. Minn. 2014). The State appeals. We affirm.

I. Background.

To light and heat our homes and offices, electric power must be generated from an energy source, such as fossil and nuclear fuels, sun, and wind; transmitted over high voltage transmission lines from generating facilities to distribution stations; and delivered to individual consumers over local, low voltage distribution lines. An electric utility may engage in any or all of these activities.

The Federal Power Act, enacted in 1935, responded to a Supreme Court decision that the Commerce Clause bars the States from regulating certain interstate electricity transactions. Public Utils. Comm'n v. Attleboro Steam & Elec. Co., 273 U.S. 83, 89, 47 S.Ct. 294, 71 L.Ed. 549 (1927). To fill this gap, Congress granted the Federal Power Commission, now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (" FERC" ), jurisdiction over " the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and . . . the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce." 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)(1). The Act left to the States most matters they had traditionally regulated, including local electric utility rates and the siting of power plants, see § 824(a) and (b), subject to limits imposed by the Commerce Clause. See New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1, 19-23, 122 S.Ct. 1012, 152 L.Ed.2d 47 (2002); New Eng. Power Co. v. New Hampshire, 455 U.S. 331, 340-41, 102 S.Ct. 1096, 71 L.Ed.2d 188 (1982).

It proved difficult to bring electricity efficiently and cost effectively to rural areas, and to municipalities that have publicly-owned distribution systems. To address this problem, small local utilities...

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