Urge the MN PUC to Update its “Cost of Pollution” values
                     (scroll down to see model comment)

 On October 9, 2013 the Sierra Club, Fresh Energy, Will Steger Foundation, Isaac Walton League, MN Center for Environment Advocacy, American Lung Association and other groups asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to update the pollution cost numbers it uses when it reviews utility company plans for investments in building new electric generating plants or in updating existing facilities.

Right now the PUC has an open comment period on the question of whether it should consider revising the “cost of pollution” figures it uses.  The pollution cost numbers the PUC uses have not been updated since the late 1990s. Currently the PUC uses $0/ton cost for sulfur dioxide emissions (which cause health problems), while a recent study conducted at the University of Minnesota found the cost of SO2 emissions in urban areas to be $11,400/ton.  And the PUC currently considers the ‘mid’ cost for CO2 emissions to be $2.40/ton, but the comparable figure used by the federal government is $38/ton!

Please help move Minnesota to more clean, renewable energy by writing a comment to the PUC by November 18, urging the PUC to update the values it uses for the cost of pollution.  A sample letter is shown below - but your comment will be most effective if you personalize it, stating your own reasons for concern about the health and climate-related costs of pollution from coal-fired generation of electricity. 


To submit a comment....

  • the deadline for "reply comments" is 5:30 pm on Monday, November 18
  • send your comment by email to PublicComments.Puc@state.mn.us
  • during this "reply comment" period, your comment must mention an initial comment that you are supporting or rebutting
  • the model comment below states support for an initial comment that was filed by the MN Department of Commerce's Division of Energy Resources; that comment by DOC DER was that not only should the PUC update its cost of pollution values for CO2 and NOx, but it should also create cost of pollution values for other greenhouse gases (CH4, SF6, N2O, HFCs and PFCs)
  • if you would like to read other initial comments - to possibly support or rebut some other comment, you will need to "Register" or "Subscribe to Docket 1636" at this PUC webpage
  • your comment will be most effective if you personalize it by stating reasons why you are concerned about the health or climate impacts from fossil-fuel based power generation.



       For more info, see MinnPost article (1 page) at http://bit.ly/HBQDB9,
or see MN2020 article (1 page) "We All Play Pollution's Costs"  ,
or see web page of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy,
or see 33 page report "Health and Environmental Costs of Electricity Generation in Minnesota" 

Here is a sample comment to MN PUC about this that you can copy or use as a model  - but your comment will be more effective if you tell the reasons your are personally concerned!


Regarding Docket #  E999/CI-00-1636, supporting initial comment by DOC DER

Dear Dr. Haar:

I support the petition by the Clean Energy Organizations in PUC docket number E-999/CI-00-1636 and the comments  made by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy  Resources to the effect that the PUC should update its "cost of  pollution" value for CO2 and should in addition consider the green house gas effect of SF6, CH4, N2O, HFCs and PFCs in its resource planning  decision.  The costs of climate change are mounting already and are  ominous for our future, and the PUC must take them fully into account in decision making regarding Minnesota's energy options. 

Therefore, I call on the Commission to:

1) establish environmental cost values for PM2.5 emissions;
2) establish environmental cost values for SO2 emissions, and
3) update the current cost values for CO2 and NOx produced by electricity generation
4) add environmental cost values for other greenhouse gases including CH4, SF6, N2O, HFCs and PFCs

I care about the health of people and the planet.  Because of this, I ask the  Commission to include realistic and up-to-date environmental and health  costs when considering the total costs of various electricity generation proposals.

(you must provide your name) 





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