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Energy Bill Could Energize Minnesota Economy

June 18, 2007

Minneapolis, MN - The U.S. Senate this week could take up a bill that would set the course for the nation's energy policy. It includes investment in sources of energy that could have an economic impact on the Midwest with major implications for Minnesota's climate and economy.

Kevin Biegler with the National Wildlife Federation in Minnesota says the plan would emphasize domestic renewable energy with the goal of reducing global warming pollution. "What we're really trying to get to is at least a 2 percent reduction every year, with a total of 80 percent over the next 40 years, to help avoid what we feel are the worst impacts of potential climate change."

He says Minnesota has a lot to gain as the U.S. shifts towards renewable energy, because of the state's wind power and farm resources. The bill, which is sponsored by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, also includes proposals to increase fuel mileage standards and limit carbon emissions.

Biegler says the energy bill is a good way to address the scientific fact of global warming. "We emit about 25 million pounds of pollution every minute in the United States. And, 85 percent of that is dependency on fossil fuels like oil and coal. Taking that out of our emissions is going to help alienate whatever contribution we're making to global climate change."

He says Minnesota is poised to be a national leader in renewable energy production and could be an energy exporter. Greater use of renewables will protect wildlife and preserve the state's quality of life. Plus, reduce oil imports.

The Governor has already signed the renewable energy standard into effect.

Jim Wishner/Mandy Walker, Public News Service - MN