FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2019
Minnesotans turning to hearings to press Xcel for stronger climate commitments
The growing ranks of Minnesotans insisting that business and government act now to address the climate crisis will press their case at a hearing Monday in St. Paul on Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan.
The IRP is a blueprint for meeting energy needs within Xcel’s service territory for the next 15 years. Grant Stevensen, an organizer with the climate advocacy group MN350, said Xcel’s current proposal would make it impossible to reach a 100 percent clean and equitable energy future as quickly as we need. The proposal would restrict the growth of solar energy, make an insufficient investment in energy efficiency, add a large amount of energy production using climate-polluting fracked gas, and keep the Monticello nuclear plant and Xcel’s two large coal-burning plants open longer than necessary.
“It used to be that hearings like this would be attended only by a handful of technical experts,” Stevensen said. “But so many everyday Minnesotans are getting involved now because they grasp the importance of pushing utilities like Xcel to move with more urgency. Minnesotans recognize that half measures simply won’t cut it.”
The St. Paul hearing and others scheduled by Xcel come at a critical time. Chelsea DeArmond, founder of St. Paul 350, pointed to a widely covered 2018 report by a United Nations panel. “The IPCC said we have 11 years to address the climate crisis, but Xcel is seeking approval for its 15 year plan right now. That means the time is now to decide whether we will continue to be dependent on fossil fuels or transition fully to clean, local energy like wind, solar, and battery storage.”
Xcel customers throughout its territory are getting involved with the St. Paul hearing and three others in October. “It’s not just Minneapolis anymore,” DeArmond said. “People in St. Paul and other cities are starting to pay attention to Xcel’s energy mix. We don’t want to pay for power that comes from fossil fuel sources like fracked gas that harm our air, water, and climate.”
- WHAT: Minnesotans concerned about the climate future testifying for improvements in Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan
- WHO: Supporters of MN350, St. Paul 350 and other other St. Paul and East Metro residents
- WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28
- WHERE: Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center Auditorium, 800 Conway St. in St. Paul
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