Big Stone protesters rally at PUC meeting

Big Stone up close
The existing Big Stone power plant. Utilities hope to build a second coal-fired power plant next to this one. The Minnesota PUC is considering a request for high-voltage power lines that would carry the electricity.
MPR Photo/Mark Steil

(AP) - Dozens of protesters are hoping to sway Minnesota commissioners as they consider whether to clear a path for a coal-burning power plant in South Dakota.

Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission has the power to approve or block transmission lines from the plant called Big Stone II. Two administrative law judges have recommended rejection.

A spokesman for the utilities backing the plant, Todd Guerrero, says people need the power the plant would provide.

Opposition groups argued that the utilities haven't proven their case, and haven't taken into account new federal costs they might someday face on carbon emissions.

After Tuesday's testimony, the commission is supposed to announce its decision Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!