Advertising Campaign Pressures Xcel Energy to Retire 2 Units at Sherco Coal Plant

Minnesota Beyond Coal Campaign marks final push for public comment deadline to urge retirement of Sherco, the state’s largest polluter

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—(ENEWSPF)—September 23, 2013. Today outside Xcel Energy’s Minneapolis headquarters and outside an Xcel Energy office in St. Cloud, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign held press events announcing a statewide advertising campaign to call for the retirement of Minnesota’s largest polluter, Sherco, located in Becker, Minn. The coal-burning power plant is one of the top emitters of toxic mercury and sulfur dioxide in the nation. The ads illustrate Sherco’s dangerous emissions and encourage Minnesota to move forward to clean energy solutions.

The Sierra Club’s paid media campaign is a crucial part of a weeklong push to encourage citizens to tell the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to replace Sherco units 1&2 with clean energy alternatives. This comes after a successful comment drive at the state fair, bolstered by remarks from Gov. Mark Dayton about moving Minnesota forward to clean energy. Dayton also said Minnesota should aim to eventually eliminate coal-burning power plants in the state.

“There’s just about a week left for Minnesotans to step up and demand cleaner, safer air and cleaner energy,” said Joshua Low, Senior Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “Xcel Energy should keep Minnesota moving forward by retiring the Sherco 1 and 2 coal plant.”

The aggressive rollout includes online and print media in the Star Tribune, Minnesota Daily, St. Cloud-Times, Sherburne County Citizen, as well as Facebook.

Speakers at the press event unveiled more than 4,900 comment cards to the Public Utilities Commission in support of replacing Sherco. About 130 volunteers at the Minnesota State Fair collected 2,700 of those comments over the course of 12 days and dozens of volunteers throughout the public comment period.

To view images of the ads, visit