Climate + Energy

An Update on North Dakota

Speaking of North Dakota, the state’s efforts to sabotage EPA’s clean air plan just got derailed in federal court today.

After EPA failed to meet its deadline to ensure North Dakota had a legally adequate clean air plan in place, WildEarth Guardians filed suit to enforce the Clean Air Act.  Ultimately, we reached a settlement that committed the EPA to taking action to adopt a clean air plan by late January 2012.

Earlier this month, the EPA proposed that clean air plan, promising major pollution cuts from several coal-fired power plants.

Not happy that the EPA was doing its job, North Dakota intervened in the lawsuit and tried to get it dismissed.  In a terse ruling today, Judge Christine Arguello approved the settlement and dismissed North Dakota’s efforts to undermine the EPA.

It’s good news for clean air and clean energy in North Dakota.

2 replies »

  1. You have no idea about the impacts and the costs. MPC installed almost 500 millions dollars worth of pollution controls in recent years that cut the emissions by over half. Now to install new, proven not to work on lignite coal, controls it will cost just as much or more because they have to either make it work with present controls or remove the present emission controls. The consumer is going to suffer again because of groups like this that think everything else comes first instead of the person that has to pay for it. I also read your stats for health costs…..If you think that the majority of the health problems come from the coal fired plants and not the lard sandwiches and two pounds of bacon that people eat for breakfast….your blind.


    • Hi Brac Mettler –

      Thanks for the comment. Actually, the controls are proven to work, in fact the manufacturers of the controls have warranted that they will work with lignite. I agree though, costs are certainly an issue. And when it comes to clean air and public health, it’s critical to remember that air pollution from Minnkota, as well as the other coal-fired power plants in North Dakota, which all burn lignite, the dirtiest form of coal, costs more than $1.5 billion. That’s $1.5 billion due to asthma attacks, premature deaths, and heart attacks. I could be wrong, but $1.5 billion sounds like a lot more than $500 million. As for diet issues, I think it’s pretty unfair to make such generalized statements. but you’re right that personal choices make a difference. And personal choices include choosing to call for clean energy instead of coal. That’s why it’s a good thing some people are choosing to make this call and hopefully more will follow with the same healthy, responsible choice.