Issues

Global Warming

Public Utilities Commission protects customers from Minnesota Power’s aging coal plants

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On June 9, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to approve Minnesota Power’s 15-year resource plan, requiring additional coal retirements and additional investments in wind, solar, and energy savings.

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Global Warming

175 nations sign the Paris Climate Agreement

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Over 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Earth Day, April 22, signing the Paris Agreement, the first global commitment on climate change. Signers included the big emitters: the U.S., China, India, and Russia. World leaders were united in speaking of the urgency to act on climate change, calling for scaled up actions, and saying that political will was never stronger. Leaders also committed to rapid national processes to approve the agreement. However, while the landmark signing ceremony made history, global temperatures keep shattering records. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explained, “We are in a race against time.”

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Global Warming

Nation-leading news: Judge recommends Minnesota use federal “social cost of carbon”

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A huge win for Minnesota on April 15 – a judge, after over a year of expert testimony, legal briefs, and public hearings, recommended to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that it adopt the federal “social cost of carbon” as the binding external cost of carbon dioxide emissions for all electric utility decision making. That means that the PUC (and the utilities that need the PUC to approve their spending plans) will have to include those very negative external costs in their calculations. As a result, fossil forms of electricity generation will be much more difficult to justify on economic terms.

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Global Warming

Looking at carbon issues at a different level

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While Fresh Energy sticks to its core work of shaping and driving policies to support a transition to clean and efficient energy economy, it’s always refreshing to step back and look at the broader picture. Short of geo-engineering, it well understood that the climate solutions have two big portions: reducing our emissions, and managing land use to better sequester carbon from the atmosphere. What we sometimes forget is that sequestering carbon can happen on land and at sea, especially in coastal ecosystems.

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Global Warming

Statement on Supreme Court Putting Clean Power Plan on Pause

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“The Supreme Court’s highly unusual action flies in the face of common sense and of Minnesota experience. Experts agree the Clean Power Plan is on solid legal ground and will prevail based on legal merits. Minnesota is already on track to meet the Clean Power Plan goals and we expect the ruling to be only a pause in the process toward full implementation. The Clean Power Plan is firmly anchored in our nation’s clean air laws and a strong scientific record, and we expect the Clean Power Plan will surpass this challenge as Americans continue to work together to protect our families and communities from the clear and present danger of global warming.”

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Global Warming

What does the historic Paris climate agreement mean for Minnesota?

At the end of last year, 195 countries at the Paris Climate Summit agreed to the first-ever global agreement to cut carbon. The agreement reflects the momentum that cities, companies, countries, and civil society groups have built since the first international climate conference in 1992.

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Global Warming

2015 was the world’s hottest year ever recorded – it’s time for action

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Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data showing that 2015 was by far the warmest year on record, surpassing 2014 by an unprecedented 1.6 degrees Celsius. These new data confirm that now is the time to take global action to address climate. Thankfully, 194 countries from around the world now have a framework in place to move in that direction. On the heels of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s crucial that Minnesota continue to lead by example on energy policy that can grow local businesses and create well-paying jobs all while reducing emissions from dirty, imported fuels.

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Global Warming

Statement from Fresh Energy on new data showing 2015 as warmest year ever

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“These new data confirm that now is the time to take global action to address climate. On the heels of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s crucial that Minnesota continue to lead by example on energy policy that can grow local businesses and create well-paying jobs all while reducing emissions from dirty, imported fuels.”

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Clean Energy

Statement from Fresh Energy on today’s landmark climate agreement in Paris

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“Today in Paris, leaders of almost 200 nations agree to a landmark climate policy. We’re proud that actions in Minnesota over the past decade have demonstrated deep carbon reductions that grow jobs and generate economic opportunities; today’s agreement at the Paris Climate Summit was made possible by demonstrations of economic opportunities in Minnesota and other places around the world. Fresh Energy looks forward to working with businesses and elected officials in Minnesota to ensure that our state leads the nation in carbon reductions while moving us even faster into the clean energy economy.”

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Global Warming

The Human Face of Climate Change and Extreme Weather in the Developing World- Up Close and Personal

As Fresh Energy continues to lead the transition to clean energy in Minnesota, our Science Policy Director J. Drake Hamilton is in Paris for the global climate talks. Her latest update is that, after 11 days of intense negotiations, the talks – now less than 36 hours from their deadline – still have to resolve major issues. It appears that the substantive gulf between the positions of developed and developing countries has not narrowed enough.

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