Each year Minnesota imports more than $20 billion dollars in energy from other states. While Minnesota does not have any coal or natural gas, we do have plenty of renewable energy that has been left untapped.
Conservation Minnesota is working with partners to help reduce our reliance on coal for electricity, increase efficiency, and use more renewable energy like wind and solar to meet our needs.
There are many reasons for Minnesota to make a smooth transition from coal to clean energy. The billions of dollars spent on imported energy can be used instead to build a vibrant energy economy around local producers of renewable technology.
The benefits of this transition are not just economic. According to the American Lung Association (ALA), “Each year 24,000 premature deaths – 550,000 asthma attacks – 38,000 heart attacks – 12,000 hospital admissions are attributed to Coal Plant pollution”. Less coal means less mercury, toxic chemicals, and waste products that pollute our lakes and waterways.
ALA President Charles D. Connor notes “People living closest to these plants, especially children, seniors and those with chronic disease, face the greatest risk”. With so much at stake, a sensible plan to move from coal to clean energy is an important next step for Minnesota.