Description: Challenge to permit for construction of 600 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant in South Dakota.
In re Otter Tail Power Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/16/2008 Opinion Download Issuance of permit upheld. The South Dakota Supreme Court found that the Public Utilities Commission's (PUC's) conclusion that the coal-fired energy conversion facility would not pose a threat of serious injury to the environment was well-reasoned and informed. The court noted that the PUC "recognized that despite the asserted scientific consensus on the harm caused from global warming, neither Congress nor the South Dakota Legislature has chosen to regulate CO2 emissions." The PUC therefore considered the facility's potential harm by comparing its projected carbon dioxide emissions to national emissions. Because the facility would increase national emissions only by 0.07%, the PUC concluded the threat of harm would not result in serious injury.