A bill lifting the restrictions preventing the construction of a new coal burning power plan won Senate approval Thursday, April 14th, on a 42-18 vote.
Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) said that if Minnesota were to build a new coal power plant, not only would it undo all of they carbon-reduction that’s been accomplished so far, but it would also cause the state economic harm since money would be sent out to other states for energy.
Nancy Lange, Energy Program Director of the Izaak Walton League of America – Midwest Office:
“Today, 42 Minnesota State Senators voted to lift restrictions on new coal power projects, signaling that Minnesota is ready to send even more of our energy dollars over the border to North Dakota and other coal producing states. Already we are sending $500 million to North Dakota and Wyoming to purchase coal. Saying ‘yes’ to new coal is committing our state to an expensive and polluting source of energy and it’s pulling Minnesota off track from its clean energy goals.
Michael Noble, executive director of Fresh Energy, issued the following comment on the Minnesota Senate’s vote to diminish the state’s commitment to clean energy:
“Today, the Minnesota legislature has failed the people of Minnesota. By passing Senate File 86, Minnesota’s elected leaders have unraveled a law put in place to encourage the next generation of clean energy investment in Minnesota.
In 2007, the Next Generation Energy Act of Minnesota passed the Minnesota legislature with broad, bipartisan support, setting science-based carbon pollution reduction goals for the state. Since then, its clean energy provisions have increased renewable energy in the state and created good-paying jobs for Minnesotans. Of 201 legislators, 188 supported the Next Generation Energy Act because moving decisively toward a clean energy future is good for Minnesota. Now, it’s an integral piece of Minnesota’s environmental policy foundation, an important driver of clean energy investment, and one of the strongest tools Minnesota has to boost our recovering economy.
But now our opportunities for clean energy, as well as our forward economic progress, are undermined by these bills that say, ‘let’s go backward.’ And it’s not what Minnesota voters want. Most Minnesotans agree: it doesn’t make sense to encourage more dirty energy while we accelerate smart investment in clean energy. Minnesotans want to maintain existing laws that protect our water, air, public health, and our clean energy future for our children and grandchildren.
This bill is a huge step in the wrong direction for Minnesota. We need laws that move our economy forward; it doesn’t make sense to move backward. Our state has 21st-century energy needs, and we should invest in 21st-century energy to meet them.
It seems Governor Dayton will soon have the opportunity to stand up for Minnesota’s future and for a clean energy economy. We urge him to defend Minnesota’s next generation of energy.”