Xcel shows leadership with decision to retire coal plants.

logo_startribIn the wake of Xcel Energy’s recent announcement that it will be retiring its Sherco 1 and 2 coal-fired power units by 2026 and slashing its carbon emissions 60 percent by 2030, I feel that the conversation around climate change and clean energy in Minnesota has shifted in an important way (“Xcel aims to speed CO2 reductions,” Oct. 3). Rather than the clean energy transition being talked about as a “problem” or a “challenge,” clean energy development is increasingly being recognized as an opportunity for innovation and economic growth that safeguards the things we all value — our health, our environment, and our unique climate with distinct biomes and seasons that Minnesotans call home.

When the largest utility in the state — which also happens to be the largest wind producer in the U.S. — recognizes the compelling economic, environmental and societal case for transitioning away from coal, it’s evident our clean energy future is here now, just as climate change is here now. I applaud Xcel Energy’s leadership in working toward affordable, reliable and clean energy sources for Minnesota, and am looking forward to seeing where our clean energy leadership takes us next.

Will Steger, Minneapolis

The writer is founder of Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy and a polar explorer.

See the full article online here.

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