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EPA clean power plan will cost families

To the Editor:
 
Recently, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final rule for what’s known as the “Clean Power Plan.”
This plan is more than 1,000 pages of rules and regulations that are supposedly aimed at reducing the United Nations fraud of global warming and carbon pollution. The net effect for families, however, will be huge spikes in their energy bills and the loss of thousands of jobs. Dozens of lawsuits by states and industries have been filed against this misguided energy plan.
 
Even President Obama’s own bureaucrats have admitted this plan, which could be one of the most expensive regulations ever put forward, could possibly prevent only one-tenth of one degree change in global temperatures in the coming years. While it will fail in doing anything to meaningfully combat global warming, it will succeed in destroying coal jobs in North Dakota and in other states that rely on clean coal power to cheaply keep the lights on in people's homes. 
 
Minnesota must reduce emissions from power plants by over 40 percent by 2030. North Dakota is required to reduce emissions 45 percent. This will require massive, expensive changes away from the power sources we rely on now to less efficient and reliable sources like solar and wind, which simply can't produce the energy we need right now for 5 million-plus Minnesota residents.
 
This plan is nothing more than a major power play by President Obama’s EPA and an attempt to punish and put out of business the remaining coal plants which have managed to survive the president’s war on clean coal during his presidency. We know for a fact that clean coal is one of the least expensive and most reliable sources of energy, and attempts to move away from clean coal could risk the reliability of our entire energy grid. Technology and American ingenuity have always solved our pollution problems. Coal has had major pollution problems in the past however modern clean coal technology has virtually eliminated any pollution concerns. Fossil fuels with modern technology are environmentally friendly and provide reliable baseload electricity very inexpensively. Low cost electricity is vital to our businesses, farms and families. Unfortunately, the DFL green agenda is going to drive up electricity cost exponentially and do nothing for the environment.
 
The Minnesota House passed bipartisan legislation this past year that would have required the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to secure legislative approval before sending its final plan for Minnesota to the EPA. Unfortunately, many environmentalist Democrats and Governor Dayton opposed these efforts, blocking any chance for the Legislature and its constituents to weigh in and force changes to the plan. Effectively, Governor Dayton and his PUC bureaucrats have the power to dramatically alter Minnesota’s energy policy, and refused to give the people’s elected representatives the opportunity to review the plan first.
 
The Legislature will hold hearings on the Clean Power Plan later this year and next year as well and ensure that the public will have a chance to make their feelings known. I will be sure to send along updates when those meetings are scheduled.
 
State Rep. Glenn
Gruenhagen
R-Glencoe