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Report: Energy Policies Would Give Boost to Minnesota

September 15, 2009

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota stands to gain big in terms of jobs, clean air and consumer savings should a series of energy-efficient policies under consideration in Congress take effect, according to a new national report.

Spokeswoman Samantha Chadwick with Environment Minnesota says pending legislation in Congress would reduce global warming and fuel dependency and put people to work.

"This report shows that the strong policies in an energy and climate bill can actually, here in Minnesota, save families 240 dollars on their energy bills every year, and also create 11,400 good new jobs in our state."

Chadwick says putting our efforts into finding new ways to power the nation could create thousands of jobs overall, save consumers money, reduce fossil fuel imports, and clean the air. She calls energy efficiency the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way of reducing energy and pollution.

She says the bill, which has passed the U.S. House, includes strong energy provisions as part of an energy and climate package that's now moving on to the Senate.

"Climate strategy is just a no-brainer, because it's the cheapest, fastest, cleanest way to move American energy policy forward, and it uses American know-how to really take control of what right now is a failing energy economy."

Chadwick says one way to improve energy savings is in the way we build buildings.

"We'd be requiring utility companies to reduce their energy use by at least 10 percent through programs providing incentives and assistance to help customers make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. Buildings in this country use about 40 percent of our energy that's being wasted."

She adds that we can also find substantial savings in transportation, through higher fuel standards and choosing mass transit.

Data on the estimated savings come from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The full report is at
www.envornmentminnesota.org

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN