Today at the State Capitol Fresh Energy partnered with the American Lung Association in Minnesota, clean energy business leaders from around the state, youth leaders, and polar explorer Will Steger of Climate Generation, to celebrate the first anniversary of the Clean Power Plan, a responsibility under the federal Clean Air Act that will cut national electricity sector emissions that cause global warming by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. That’s the equivalent pollution benefit of taking 150 million cars off the roads.
The Clean Power Plan will be pivotal in reducing coal plant emissions, the single biggest cause of climate change. We applaud the use of the nation’s bedrock environmental law–the Clean Air Act, signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon and updated with strong Congressional bipartisan support in 1990—to limit the amount of carbon pollution power plants can dump into our air. The Clean Air Act has a 45-year track record of protecting human health and welfare from lead, arsenic, acid rain, and mercury pollution at low cost.
The Clean Power Plan marks an historic opportunity for the U.S., a single action that will save lives and cut the pollution that causes global warming, while spurring the growth of clean energy sources and family-sustaining jobs in our state. Governor Dayton needs to hear that Minnesotans expect his Administration to develop a strong compliance plan for Minnesota to meet and exceed our state’s targets under the Clean Power Plan. In fact, Minnesota is on track to meet the federal goals by virtue of policies and practices implemented since 2007. Minnesota’s successful implementation of the state Renewable Energy Standard and energy savings goals that apply to every utility have helped generate at least 15,300 clean energy sector jobs across our state; clean energy standards that apply to every utility company have put the electric sector on track to meet Minnesota’s 2007 Next Generation Act goal of at least 30 percent carbon reduction, from 2005 levels, by 2025. Our state science-based climate goal is stronger than the new Clean Power Plan targets. Minnesota is proof that aggressive carbon reductions from the power sector can be achieved while growing our economy. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been working with a stakeholder group in an open, transparent process for two years and counting, to prepare for development of the state plan to comply with the Clean Power Plan. Fresh Energy is at that table.
Want to learn more about how Minnesota can use the Clean Power Plan to expand our clean energy economy and jobs? Make the connection between cleaning up coal plants and improving human health. Ask Fresh Energy to speak to your business, congregation, or civic organization about the Clean Power Plan. Contact Dylan Sievers at firstname.lastname@example.org.