ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is taking the fight over the state's law restricting new power generation from coal to a higher court.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's decision last week that barred Minnesota from enforcing key sections of the Next Generation Energy Act. The court sided with North Dakota utilities and other interests that argued illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.

Dayton announced on Wednesday his intent to appeal that ruling. He argues it doesn't illegally restrict new coal-powered plants but merely requires that they be offset by reductions at existing plants.

The Democratic governor says it's a matter of protecting air quality. But the federal appeals court said Minnesota would need Congressional approval to enforce that section of the 2007 law.