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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Warming to climate action: Xcel web site promotes green power initiatives, cap-and-trade support

From an article by Bob Geiger, staff writer for Finance & Commerce:

Last week, there was a minor change to the web site of Xcel Energy – an unobtrusive box picturing a wind turbine along with the words, "Learn more about Xcel Energy’s climate action."

But the minor graphic signals a major effort at the Minneapolis-based utility – to promote its renewable energy efforts, as well as its support for a proposed federal policy aimed at limiting greenhouse gases.

The site lays out Xcel Energy’s game plan for dealing with climate change, and includes an endorsement of a uniform federal policy for a cap-and-trade system that is intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started the process to cap carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, established more than 30 years ago to deal with local and regional pollution.

In posting its support of a cap and trade system that charges polluters for emissions of greenhouse gases, Xcel Energy is taking the corporate position that such a system encourages technological change to lower such emissions.

In the meantime, Xcel itself is "looking to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions in Minnesota by 22 percent from 2005 levels" by 2020, said Betsy Engelking, director of resource planning for the utility.

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