Advisory: True Costs of Minnesota Power Plant Pollution to be Evaluated at PUC Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 16, 2013

Alison Flowers, Sierra Club, 303-246-6297, alison.flowers@sierraclub.org

Jessica Tritsch, Sierra Club, 612-963-9642, jessica.tritsch@sierraclub.org

Beth Goodpaster, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, 651-287-4880, bgoodpaster@mncenter.org

Kevin Reuther, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, 651-287-4861, kreuther@mncenter.org

 

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

True Costs of Minnesota Power Plant Pollution to be Evaluated at PUC Hearing

 

Low pollution cost values, no longer supported by current science, have not been updated for nearly 20 years

Fossil fuel energy costs Minnesota $2.5 billion annually in health and environmental impacts

WHAT:  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will hear testimony and decide whether to update the values used in utility energy plans that help determine the true costs of power pollution, including its toll on public health and the economy. In October, clean energy and environmental organizations petitioned the PUC to update pollution costs based on new research on how pollution contributes to death and disease.

The pollution costs have not been updated since the mid-90s, at which time they were hotly contested. Research over the last two decades has increased understanding on how pollution affects public health. A June 2013 “Health and Environmental Costs of Electricity Generation in Minnesota” report found fossil fuel power pollution costs Minnesotans $2.5 billion annually in health and environmental impacts – 94 percent of this impact is from coal pollution. Accounting for these hidden costs in utility energy plans would demonstrate how clean, renewable energy protects Minnesotans health, unlike fossil fuels.

WHEN:       Thursday, December 19th, 9:30am (Note: Item is 10th on agenda)

WHERE:     PUC Large Hearing Room, 121 7th Place E, 3rd Floor, St. Paul, MN 55101

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