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Reader's view: Timeline needed for plan to reduce coal usage

On May 7 I joined Minnesotans from across the state in calling on our electric utilities to consider the true health and environmental costs of burning coal. Fossil fuel power pollution costs Minnesotans $2.1 billion annually in health and environmental impacts, including increased health expenses, missed work and school, and environmental damages; 94 percent of that is from coal pollution, according to a report by Andrew L. Goodkind and Stephen Polasky.

Minnesota Power currently gets nearly 80 percent of its electricity from burning coal, costing residents millions each year over the cost of our electric bills. However, Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge told the News Tribune Minnesota Power plans to get to one-third coal within the next decade (“Protest delivers ‘bill’ to Minnesota Power for hidden pollution costs,” May 8).

As a customer concerned about air pollution and climate change, I am happy to see Minnesota Power make a statement about its timeline, but I would also like to see details from Minnesota Power on how it plans to make that change. Soon.

Ann Galbraith Miller