Correction: Emissions Reductions-Minnesota Story

PAUL, Minnesota — In a story Nov. 20 about greenhouse gas emissions, The Associated Press reported erroneously that state officials said Minnesota is not on track to meet emissions standards set by the federal government. State officials said Minnesota is not on track to meet emissions standards set by the state.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Minnesota not on track to meet emission reductions

Minnesota not on track to meet state-set greenhouse gas reduction goals

PAUL, Minnesota —Minnesota isn’t on track to meet state-set targets for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions that are aimed at addressing climate change, state officials said Thursday.

Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act set goals of cutting emissions by 30 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. It also requires utilities to produce 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

But David Thornton, an assistant commissioner for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said a new analysis shows the state is on track to reduce its overall emissions only by 3 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“The policies in place have made some difference up until now, and the major difference they’re going to be making into the future is offsetting the growth that we’re going to be seeing,” Thornton told a group of policymakers and business representatives during a forum held by the Environmental Initiative.

That means Minnesota needs a variety of new or expanded strategies to reduce emissions, he said.

Between now and February, state agencies led by the Environmental Quality Board will work with a consultant, the Center for Climate Strategies, to analyze emissions and determine which policy options would give the state the best return. Environmental Initiative, a nonprofit group that builds partnerships, will organize meetings for industry, agriculture and other sectors of the economy to provide input.

Ideas such as expanding the renewable energy standard, retiring coal plants and planting urban forests will be analyzed based on three criteria: expected emissions reductions, cost and job creation.

Minnesota also faces a separate proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in which the state likely would have to reduce emissions from power plants by more than a third by 2030. MPCA officials said they think that goal is reachable.


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