Reader’s view: Minnesota Power favors coal over environmentI was glad to see an article about President Obama’s plan for curbing coal-fire emissions and its potential impact upon our region published in the News Tribune (“Minnesota Power prepares for Obama power plan,” June 25).
I was glad to see an article about President Obama’s plan for curbing coal-fire emissions and its potential impact upon our region published in the News Tribune (“Minnesota Power prepares for Obama power plan,” June 25). What was perhaps of greatest interest to me was the tone of the piece. According to Minnesota Power Executive Vice President Dave McMillan, Minnesota Power already is “cushioning itself” in anticipation of new limits for carbon dioxide emissions and is prepared to pay large sums to the federal government in penalty for a lack of compliance due to its aged and highly polluting coal-fired energy plants.
Why does the response of Minnesota Power seem to lean toward staying with the status quo (coal) rather than responding proactively with more significant shifts to renewable and clean energy sources? The decision to stay the course with coal-fired power plants seems not only fiscally wasteful but indicates a lack of regard for the environmental and human costs of carbon and other emissions caused by coal.
In its 15-year energy resource plan, Minnesota Power announced investments in wind energy; however, the plan does not move quickly enough. As the article stated, Minnesota Power still produces 80 percent of its energy through existing coal-fired plants.
Minnesota Power also is proposing to invest $350 million to retrofit one coal-fired unit, Boswell 4, on equipment that won’t limit carbon pollution. The money is there. Why won’t Minnesota Power invest more of it in clean energy and renewables rather than in overhauling an outdated and dirty source of energy?
Minnesota Power’s new slogan, “Moving Minnesota Forward,” can only be true if Minnesota Power answers the president’s call to lead the fight against climate disruption. Coal and all its costs are behind us; let’s move ahead.