On Thursday, March 19, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee passed two significant components of a responsible Minnesota Clean Energy Plan—policy improving the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to 40 percent by 2030 and the yearly energy savings goal from 1.5 to 2 percent—as part of their omnibus bill (Senate File 1431). The bill will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote by the body.
“Improving the Renewable Energy Standard and the yearly energy savings goal will create good jobs, save money in the long run and protect our state’s natural heritage for generations to come. We thank the authors, the committee members for their votes and chair Marty for his leadership in moving this effort forward. Passing these policies is the right thing for our economy and environment and we look forward to a full Senate vote on this responsible Minnesota Clean Energy Plan.”
CURE Executive Director, Duane Ninneman, joined with key Minnesota partners in late 2012 to create Minnesota’s Clean Energy and Jobs campaign. In 2013, important legislation including the Minnesota Solar Energy Standard, became law. The work continues this year.
“Organizers at CURE are leading the way here in western Minnesota to make sure that rural voices are heard in support of Minnesota’s energy future. Wind development has been a big boost to the economy of southwest Minnesota. Solar is ramping up fast. Keeping us on track for future clean energy job development has solid support,” Ninneman said.
Legislative Meetings with Lawmakers
CURE organizers Kristian Nyberg, Jordan Wente, and Erik Hatlestad convened legislative meetings with lawmakers across western Minnesota to bring citizens together with their representatives. At these meetings, rural residents endorsed legislation to increase the renewable energy standard and supported strong conservation measures. CURE’s effort to educate legislators and the public on wise energy policy is recognized statewide.
CURE gathered Morris-area citizens to speak up on Minnesota’s Clean Energy Plan at a Senate District 12 townhall meeting hosted by Representative Backer (12B-R) and Senator Westrom (12-R) in Morris on February 20th. Members of CURE and the Morris chapter of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group kept the conversation moving on clean energy. After 30 years of wind energy development across the world and Minnesota’s leadership massive wind development, Sen. Westrom suggested that ever more research is needed before we can put this experimental technology on our grid. One attendee responded saying, “It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know it’s windy here!”
CURE convened more than 40 area citizens in Willmar to speak with District 17 Legislators, Sen. Lyle Koenen (17-DFL), Rep. Tim Miller (17A-R) and Rep. Dave Baker (17B-R) on the benefits of increased renewable energy in greater Minnesota. A frank exchange left lawmakers with a clear understanding of rural support for Minnesota’s clean energy future.
Coming up, CURE has an in-district meeting scheduled for the Moorhead area on Saturday, March 28th at 10:30 AM to be held at Concordia College. Following our current track record, we expect a healthy turn-out and a consistent, strong message that increased renewable energy is the right move for Minnesota.
Continuing the Momentum: CURE attendees submitted letters to the editor to area newspapers following the various in-district meetings. So far, we have had letters published in the Morris Sun Tribune.
Take Action: Clean Energy and Job’s Week of Action
Miss an in-district meeting? You can still take action!
March 30th to April 5th is the Clean Energy and Jobs Week of Action. We are asking area citizens to submit op-eds to local newspapers. Citizens across the state are submitting letters in favor of the renewable energy standard in a concerted effort. Make your voice heard! Please contact Kristian by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.