Student Group Delivers Over 1000 Petitions to Ask for Clean Energy
Campus Beyond Coal members, UMN-TC students, and community members gathered outside Xcel Energy Inc. on Wednesday, December 7th to deliver petition cards, hear individual’s clean energy stories, and stand for clean energy and a clean future for Minnesota. Students and community members carried wind turbines to demonstrate that the path toward a clean energy future involves renewable energy and energy efficiency. Student leaders and community members representing the Sierra Club, Will Steger Foundation, Campus Beyond Coal, and the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network were present.
“Coal is the dirtiest form of energy out there,” said Campus Beyond Coal Co-chair, Siri Simons, “It’s time to transition off of something that is polluting Minnesota’s water and making us sick.”
During the last three months, University of Minnesota Campus Beyond Coal student group gathered comments on Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan. The Integrated Resource Plan examines where Xcel will source their energy for the next 15 years, and is reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Students gathered more than 1,000 petition cards to be delivered to the PUC. The comments ask for Xcel to increase its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency by retiring Sherburne County (Sherco) Coal Generating Station, build 5,000 MW of new wind generation, 1,000 MW of solar generation, and achieve a 2 percent annual energy efficiency standard.
Marissa Kramer, Minnesota Youth Environmental Network Steering Committee member, stated, “The University of Minnesota is Xcel’s third largest customer and we receive 97% of our electricity from coal. Students want a say in what powers our classrooms; we want wind and solar.”
Campus Beyond Coal will continue collecting students’ comments on the Integrated Resource Plan. The organization also plans to host a town hall forum in February with community members, Xcel representatives, and technical experts.