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Obama Orders Minnesota To Cut Emissions By 41 Percent

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration has announced new rules targeting power plant emissions. The new rules seek to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Xcel Energy Regional Vice President Laura McCarten says their company is already on course to achieve a 30 percent reduction by the year 2020.

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However, McCarten says she doesn’t know yet what today’s (Monday) announcement means for specific facilities like the Sherco Power Plant in Becker.

Minnesota is being asked to cut carbon emissions by roughly 41 percent over the next 15 years.  Some states will be allowed to emit more pollutants than others, but the overall reduction goal is 30 percent. Minnesota is one state being asked to do more.

McCarten says Minnesota was highlighted in the EPA report released today (Monday) for it’s comprehensive clean energy strategies.

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Officials with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, utilities and environmental groups were still reviewing Obama’s plan. But they say the state is already successful in reducing emissions and creating renewable energy, and is well-positioned going forward.

McCarten says Xcel Energy appreciates that the EPA sought input from them on their proposed plan. One of the things they requested is that states be given flexibility to develop their own plans, which is included in the proposal.

McCarten says right now they get 36 percent of their energy from coal, 27 percent from nuclear, 13 percent from natural gas, 13 percent from wind, eight percent from hydroelectric dams, and three percent from biomass.

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