Xcel Energy plans to keep burning coal at Sherco

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xcel Energy says it plans to keep burning coal in the two oldest units at its Sherburne County power plant in Becker in central Minnesota.

In a report to regulators, Xcel says sticking with coal is the smartest course, rather than switching to natural gas, at least until the future of environmental regulations becomes clearer.

The report comes a week after President Barack Obama announced new rules aimed at reducing power plant emissions that contribute to climate change.

Kevin Reuther, legal director at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, says it’s the beginning of the end for Sherco because it won’t make sense to keep operating the plant on coal under Obama’s plan.

Sherco is Xcel’s largest power plant in the Upper Midwest, creating enough energy for two million homes.

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