Fresh Energy statement: Gas plant decision at odds with Minnesota’s clean energy future

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On October 29 the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Minnesota Power’s proposal to invest in a natural gas plant in Superior, Wisconsin. Fresh Energy executive director Michael Noble released the following statement in response:

“Minnesotans want and deserve low-cost, clean energy. Approval of an investment in a new fracked gas plant sells our state short on both counts. Minnesota has set an objective to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and that commitment demands careful and judicious consideration of any new investments. While it is a step forward that the Commission is requiring Minnesota Power to file a plan for closure of its two major coal plants in its next Integrated Resource Plan, a hasty investment in expensive new gas infrastructure needlessly locks in continued reliance on fossil fuel, with rate payers on the hook for the $350 million cost plus all the cost of the natural gas to fuel the plant. Now is not the time to saddle future generations with investments in a risky, polluting technology. Fresh Energy will be taking action. Watch for updates as we work to ensure the coal plant retirements called for in this decision take place as soon as possible, that customers are protected through a securitization plan, and that future actions include major new investments in wind and solar.”