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Minnesota’s energy planning law seeks to account for both the internal and the external costs of electricity by requiring regulators at the PUC to adopt “externality value” pricing for electricity that accounts for the costs inflicted on society from the emission of pollutants.
The advocates point to results of a September study by University of Minnesota economists, “Health and Environmental Costs of Electricity Generation in Minnesota,” that estimated that health and environmental damage caused by coal-burning power plants make up 94 percent of the total health and environmental damages caused by Minnesota electricity generation and amount to more than $2 billion.
Best Buy, Wells FARGO Get Greener
• Best Buy beat out other retailers in the 2013 Standard & Poor’s 500 index Climate Change Report that ranks America’s largest companies’ actions it improving their impact on the environment. Best Buy received “Leadership” status for both performance and disclosure categories this year; it was the only retailer to receive both. The Richfield-based retailer said it already has achieved three-quarters of its 2009 commitment to reduce carbon pollution by 20 percent by 2020.
• Wells Fargo has been named by the Carbon Disclosure Project to its Global 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index. Said Wells Fargo executive Jon Campbell: “ It shows our success toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through focused change in operations at our company. Our company not only works hard to reduce our electricity usage ... we also are making tremendous investments [in] quantifying emissions and environmental impacts.’’ Wells Fargo has hit 1 billion “paperless” transactions since 2009 at its ATMs. In Minnesota, 44 percent of customers choose text or e-mail receipts.