Xcel Energy announced a sweeping commitment to slash carbon dioxide pollution across the eight Midwestern and Western states where it operates.
Xcel has committed to reduce its carbon dioxide pollution by 80 percent by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and by 100 percent by 2050. The commitment to provide cost-effective and reliable clean energy covers all Xcel’s service region: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
“Xcel’s groundbreaking climate commitment is an act of true leadership. It is anchored in proven clean energy solutions that are already delivering healthier air, low cost electricity, major economic investments and jobs to local communities,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “Ambitious efforts to slash carbon dioxide pollution are urgently needed. Xcel’s vision will help speed the day when the United States eliminates all such pollution from its power sector, which is necessary to seize the environmental and economic opportunity of powering cars, trucks, homes and businesses with cost-effective, zero-emitting electricity.”
Xcel’s commitment is industry-leading, and is consistent with the level of ambition needed from the electric power sector in order to mitigate climate-destabilizing pollution. Today’s commitment follows other recent steps the company has taken to transition to clean, reliable and affordable clean energy – including, in August, the Colorado Public Utility Commission’s approval of Xcel’s Colorado energy plan providing for the replacement of two old, high-polluting coal units in Pueblo, Colorado with more renewable energy and large scale storage.
The Colorado energy plan will sharply reduce dangerous mercury pollution, soot and smog in the Pueblo area, and will lead to a 60 percent reduction in climate pollution by 2025 across Xcel’s Colorado electric generating resources. At the same time, it will save Colorado customers $213 million from the lower costs of renewable power and savings on maintenance for the two retiring coal units, will help keep a major steel mill and its extensive manufacturing jobs in Pueblo, will provide a $2.5 billion investment in clean energy in eight Colorado counties, and will add numerous jobs statewide.
Today’s announcement reaches beyond Colorado and commits Xcel to reducing harmful carbon dioxide pollution across all eight states.
“Xcel’s commitment today promises to cut carbon dioxide pollution across a wide swath of the central U.S. It’s a huge step towards a future where we are safe from climate change, have clean air to breathe, and have the economic advantages – and jobs – that the deployment of clean energy will bring,” said Krupp.
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