Coalition for a Secure Energy Future Presses Dayton Administration to Focus on Ratepayers in Addressing EPA’s Proposed Carbon Dioxide Rules

Posted May 22, 2015

Without Legislative Approval, Administration Will Be Tempted to “Go It Alone”

SAINT PAUL, MN – After a bipartisan provision to require the Minnesota Legislature to approve any State Implementation Plan on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon dioxide regulations was blocked in the waning moments of the 2015 legislative session, the Coalition for a Secure Energy pressed the Dayton Administration to refocus its efforts on protecting utility ratepayers in the state.

“We are disappointed that this provision to protect ratepayers was taken off the table,” said Joel Johnson, the Minnesota Director of the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future. “There was broad bipartisan support for the measure, in large part because of concerns that the Administration would put the interests of environmental extremists ahead of consumers.

“We are urging the Administration to refocus its energy policy on the needs of Minnesota’s energy consumers to keep electricity prices low, create jobs, and provide necessary power for our communities,” he added.

Johnson said there is growing concern among utilities that the Governor will use the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to ram through energy policies that were unable to make it through the Legislature.

“The fact is, most Minnesotans disagree with the Governor’s restrictive approach to energy policy,” Johnson said. “Unlike the Governor, Minnesotans support an all-of-the-above energy policy that uses a balance of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources to provide secure, reliable energy for businesses and consumers to keep our state’s economy humming.”

Johnson urged energy consumers around the state to get involved in the issue.

“It’s vital for all of us to get involved and make sure our voices are heard,” Johnson said. “According to Energy Ventures Analysis, the average Minnesota family could see an 18 percent increase in their electric bill and a 45 percent increase in their natural gas bill upon implementation of the plan. A healthy balance of renewable energy and traditional sources of power like coal and natural gas is key to keeping the lights on in Minnesota and protecting the quality of life we’ve come to enjoy. It’s not realistic to meet the energy demands in Minnesota without coal as part of the energy mix.”

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