Should Gov. Dayton oppose the federal Clean Power Plan?

“The chairman of the state House energy committee has asked Gov. Mark Dayton to oppose the federal Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing emissions linked to climate change,” writes MPR News reporter Elizabeth Dunbar.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, who oversees the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, argued in a letter that Dayton should join states like North Dakota and Wisconsin in opposing the plan, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued last month.

The Clean Power Plan calls for an overall 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030, but gives states flexibility in how they meet their targets.

Today’s Question: Should Gov. Dayton oppose the federal Clean Power Plan?

  • PaulJ

    The only practical way to meet that target is with nuclear power, which is ok with me; just don’t put it up wind from a city or near rivers, and find a place to bury the waste.

    • John Dilligaf

      There’s always a river. After spinning the turbine, the steam has to be cooled in order to be reheated and over half the heat generated is flushed down the river. You want real efficiency? Find a way to productively use that heat in a secondary process that captures the additional wasted energy.

  • Jim G

    No. State Rep. Garofalo is just following the lead of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell from the coal state of Kentucky. Senator McConnell calls for states to reject the Clean Power Plan. My judgement is that the quicker we reduce our dependence on coal fired electrical power plants the quicker we reduce carbon emissions. Dayton should set policy based on the science of climate change and its causes, not on the parochial and industry captured leadership of Republicans.

  • MrE85

    One of the rarely-talked about benefits of reducing carbon emissions is the fact that measures like the Clean Power Plan also reduce air pollutants like particulates and ozone that we know are harmful to human health. I believe Minnesota should work with neighboring states, as many of the major utilities have customers across multi-state regions. Coal has served us well in the past, but it’s time to retire our antiquated coal-fired plants and shift to cleaner sources of energy. It’s where the market is going, anyhow.

  • Gary F

    Clean Power Plan means much higher energy costs that means manufacturing jobs will leave the state.

    • Yanotha Twangai

      And go where? This is a federal plan, so won’t energy costs go up in every state? And since Minnesota has already been moving in this direction, won’t those costs go up less here than in states that haven’t been?

      • Gary F

        1. Other states are opposing the plan. A new administration could mean new rules.

        2. Overseas or Mexico.

        • MrE85

          I find it unlikely that states that oppose the Clean Power Plan will prevail over the EPA rules. It’s based on the Clean Air Act, which has withstood many legal challenges before. Millions of dollars flow through Minnesota now because the firms that build and design large-scale wind farms are located here. We also have local manufacturing of solar panels in the state, an industry that is growing quickly.

          I don’t buy the old “jobs vs environment” argument. Past experience shows it’s a false dichotomy — our economy and gross national product has grown even as our air has gotten cleaner since 1970. I suspect the Clean Power Plan will be no different.

          Until recently, I was paying the utility bills on my Father’s house in Indiana. They are a coal state, and a large part of the electricity comes form coal-fired plants. The rates are significantly higher than they are here.

  • KTN

    Lets see, we have a Republican legislator, one who know doubt does not believe in climate change, telling the Gov he ought to opt out of this one. Makes sense if you don’t like to think for yourself.

  • Katie S

    We always hear that we have to choose between cutting carbon pollution and protecting the health of our kids and creating jobs. That’s ridiculous. Cutting carbon pollution from power plants will spark innovation and drive investment in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency that will create jobs and save families money on their electricity bills. Governor Dayton should support a strong Clean Power Plan that moves Minnesota towards a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future.