www.mnaction.org Monday, December 22, 2014  

Dirty Coal or a Clean Energy Future?

You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the directions at the bottom.


Just say “No” to rollbacks on dirty coal. Take action below!


The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday, APRIL 14th.

It doesn’t make sense to encourage more dirty energy while we accelerate Minnesota’s investment in clean energy.

In 2007, the Next Generation Energy Act became law with broad, bipartisan support, setting science-based carbon pollution reduction goals. The Act moves Minnesota decisively toward a clean energy future. A key part of that law is an important anti-backsliding provision that requires companies that invest in new coal to offset any additional carbon pollution by making reductions in carbon emissions in other projects. These offset requirements remain in place until the state completes its plan to meet the pollution reduc­tion goals in the law. Once that plan is in effect the offset requirement no longer applies. To date, Minnesota has not established its plan and the offset requirement remains in effect.

But now legislators in both the Minnesota House and Senate are moving bills that would repeal that anti-backsliding policy. This is a huge step in the wrong direction for Minnesota because:

Coal is Expensive
Over the last decade the costs of coal power have skyrocketed. Between 2001 and 2008, Minnesota coal expenditures nearly doubled in cost, while the amount of energy generated by coal actually decreased.

As the financial viability of coal power declines and plans for new coal proj­ects are scrapped, Minnesota’s utili­ties are planning a flexible and more economical resource mix to meet the demands of their customers. Relative to other energy resources, coal is sim­ply getting too expensive, carries too high of an environmental price tag and is no longer the preferred resource.

Coal is Harming our Health
Burning coal causes a wide variety of pollutants that negatively affect the health of Minnesotans. According to a 2010 National Academy of Science report, pollution from Minnesota coal plants caused almost $600 million in health costs in 2007.

Coal is Bad for Minnesota’s Economy
Minnesota imports all of the coal used in the state’s power plants. About $550 million was sent across our borders to purchase this highly polluting fuel in 2008 alone. Coal plants are losing the cost advantag­es they once had, as construction, fuel and environmental compliance costs have risen markedly. These are the principal factors that led utility partners to cancel the South Dakota Big Stone II power plant proposal in 2009. The U.S. Energy Information Administration now projects that no new coal projects without carbon capture technology will be built be­fore 2025.

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Message To Be Sent To
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Your State Senator
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Vote “No” on Coal Rollbacks

Dear Governor,

Keep Minnesota moving forward on clean energy! Vote “NO” on Senate File 86.

Coal polluted our water with mercury that gets into our fish, making it unsafe to eat and our air, making it unhealthy to breath. We export $550 million each year to other states for coal when we should be investing in homegrown, clean energy in Minnesota - like wind and solar.

Coal is dirty, expensive, and doesn’t help Minnesota’s economy. Stay on the path to a clean energy future.

Your name and address here

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