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CO2 emissions drop 20% from western Wisconsin power plant

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The main electric utility for northwest Wisconsin has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by almost 20-percent from 2005 through last year. X-cel Energy said it has exceeded President Obama's announced goal of a 17-percent emissions' cut by 2020.

X-cel released its 10th annual Corporate Responsibility report yesterday. It said the utility has more than doubled its use of clean, renewable resources from seven-percent of its energy mix in 2004 to 20-percent last year -- with a goal of reaching 27-percent by 2020. As part of that effort, X-cel said it would add another 1,900 megawatts of wind power, and 170 megawatts of solar energy -- and it would all be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives.

X-cel Energy is based in Minneapolis, with regional facilities in Eau Claire. C-E-O Ben Fawke said his company has spent a decade investing in cost-effective clean energy which has benefited both customers and the environment. The report comes as President Obama expects to announce a sweeping E-P-A regulation on Monday that would slash carbon pollution from the 600 coal-fired power plants in the U-S.