Gov. Dayton is certainly liberal but he certainly isn’t a constitutional scholar. According to this Strib article, Gov. Dayton got a little testy with North Dakota for winning a lawsuit regarding the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA. Unfortunately, the lawsuit won’t cause the NGEA to be voided. The good news is that the Supreme Court will make short work of this.

The NGEA imposes restrictions on other states by banning Minnesota utilities from “signing deals to import coal-generated electricity.” It’s entirely unsurprising that “North Dakota sued and won on the grounds that the law constitutes a trade barrier between the two states that is forbidden by the U.S. Constitution.”

Specifically, that restriction is forbidden by the Interstate Commerce Clause. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 gives the federal government the authority “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” The text is clear. States aren’t allowed to put restrictions on other states that might hurt that state’s economy. Allowing Minnesota to dictate to North Dakota what it must do or can’t do is, essentially, taking over another state’s sovereign authority.

BONUS QUESTION: How would Gov. Dayton react if North Dakota’s governor signed a bill into law that forced Minnesota to build a pipeline across northern Minnesota?

Gov. Dayton didn’t just expose his lack of constitutional expertise. He went on another diatribe:

He said North Dakota has “its head in the sand,” and that Minnesota would continue to litigate to protect air quality.

What’s especially delicious is this statement:

Dave Glatt, head of the environmental health section for the North Dakota Dept. of Health, said his state is one of just a handful meeting all ambient air quality standards established by the EPA. He said roughly 25 percent of North Dakota’s total electric generation comes from wind and hydroelectric power, both non-carbon sources. Total carbon emissions are down 11 percent below 2005 levels despite the Bakken oil boom, Glatt said. He acknowledged the carbon intensity of the Bakken oil boom but said Minnesota has benefited from the boom. Oil prices have plunged in part due to a rapid rise in supply in places like North Dakota.

Gov. Dayton, stick that in your stovepipe and smoke it.

5 Responses to “Mark Dayton vs. North Dakota, Constitution”

  • J. Ewing says:

    I think that at root this is about pursuit of that Great Scam of global warming, which turns out to be Stupidity all the way down.

  • walter hanson says:


    Mark Dayton’s reaction will be “Are you crazy?”

    North Dakota can say back, “It takes a crazy person to know what is crazy!”

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jerry, at the root of this crap is the DFL’s desire to control our lives through central planning. Part of the DFL’s central planning is eliminating parts of the Constitution they find ‘troublesome’, including things like state and individual sovereignty and private property rights.

    This isn’t small ball stuff. They’re playing the long game. They’re putting things in place that will eventually help them control our lives.

  • Chad Q says:

    Is it any surprise that Gov. Goofy is speaking about things he knows nothing about? The man and his administration are a bunch of ideologues who want things their way no matter what the law or constitution says. No different than the guy in the white house.

    You are correct that this isn’t “small ball” stuff. Progressives are in it for the end game and will keep chipping away and chipping away until they either wear down the opposition or find a judge who interprets the law they way they like and then another piece of our lives is controlled by the government.

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