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Associated Press, Published May 25 2012

Minnesota lawmaker says there's support for ND coal power in Minnesota Legislature

BISMARCK — A Minnesota lawmaker says some legislators in St. Paul are backing a North Dakota lawsuit against Minnesota coal restrictions.

Minnesota law bans utilities from importing electricity from newly built coal plants outside Minnesota. It assigns environmental costs to coal use, and would make it more expensive for utilities to buy coal-generated power.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is challenging the Minnesota law in federal court. On Thursday, Minnesota state Rep. Michael Beard said he and other Minnesota lawmakers support the lawsuit.

Beard was in Bismarck to attend an oil industry conference.

North Dakota is one of Minnesota's major suppliers of electricity. Beard says the Minnesota Legislature has members who admire North Dakota's electric industry "and wish we could do more business with it."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.