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Kurt Baldwin, 14, of Montevideo showed up at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's Big Stone II hearing Thursday dressed as a polar bear. Baldwin said the costume was meant to draw attention to environmental concerns surrounding the coal-fired power plant project. Next to Baldwin is a fellow Big Stone II opponent dressed as an otter.

Big Stone approval has strings attached

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An electric transmission project in western Minnesota can go forward -- with conditions aimed at protecting ratepayers and the environment -- state regulators decided Thursday.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve a large-scale power line project that would distribute electricity from the proposed Big Stone II coal-fired power plant in eastern South Dakota.

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