Wisconsin tribe joins groups opposed to Superior gas plant

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SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- An American Indian tribe in northern Wisconsin has joined environmental groups urging state regulators to reject plans to build a $700 million natural gas-fired power plant in Superior.

Thee Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is reportedly worried that the Nemadji Trail Energy Center would damage local wetlands, contribute to climate change and promote hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is considering an application from La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative and a subsidiary of Minnesota Power to build the 650-megawatt plant.

The utilities say the facility is needed to allow them to move away from coal-fired generation and that it will support more clean energy sources like wind and solar.

Superior's mayor and some bipartisan western Wisconsin lawmakers support the project.