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Letter: Global warming act poses risk for affordable energy

The future of affordable, reliable energy for Minnesotans is at risk under the proposed Global Warning Mitigation Act currently before the Minnesota Legislature. This legislation aims to prohibit the construction of new coal power plants even if ...

The future of affordable, reliable energy for Minnesotans is at risk under the proposed Global Warning Mitigation Act currently before the Minnesota Legislature. This legislation aims to prohibit the construction of new coal power plants even if a plant uses the latest technology and will reduce emissions more than existing coal plants. The legislation even prevents Minnesota from importing power from such new coal plants in other states.

I am very concerned about blackouts given the high demand for electricity. We must be able to build new facilities to meet our increased demands. The proposed legislation would contribute to the supply shortage if it prevents Big Stone II Plant in South Dakota from being built.

There are other concerns, which we electric users are facing. The Legislature wants the existing utilities to work toward renewable energy sources. This is well and good. Except, the PUC Wind Integrations Study suggested Minnesota's electric system could handle 25 percent renewable energy, however, they assumed the Big Stone II coal plant would be up and running to ensure base load power.

Without Big Stone II, my utility would have to find less reliable and more expensive sources of energy to meet growing demand. The Global Warming Mitigation Act is far too extreme. As a consumer and investor, I am greatly concerned about the impact that this legislation will have on my energy costs.

If the Legislature is interested in doing something about emissions, why only target the energy producers? Why not get all industry involved?

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Donald A. Drusch

Former Board Secretary

Minnesota Utility Investors

Bemidji

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