Minnesota DFL - 3rd Congressional District

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What Minnesota Knows About Clean Energy with Senator Al Franken

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FrankenSenator Al Franken, and Minnesota political, university, and private sector leaders discussed how to build Minnesota jobs through energy innovations at a Humphrey Institute forum.

"You go around Minnesota, you see a lot of what we're doing right,'' Franken said at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.  Now, it's time to transfer those lessons to Washington, where a paralyzed federal energy policy has the country lagging behind other countries such as China and Germany."

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire (Chelsea Green, autumn 2011) concludes that nuclear power is neither economic nor necessary to eliminate U.S. use of oil and coal and reduce natural gas use by 2050.  Last year, power generation from renewable sources, such as wind, wave, and solar, overtook that produced by nuclear power worldwide, according to the "World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011" issued by Worldwatch Institute – a trend that is expected to continue.  The report states that China, not America or Europe, leads the global revolution in renewable energy.  China is now #1 in five renewable technologies and aims to be in all.  Minnesota with high wind energy potential and contiguous to other states with high potential is well situated to become a leader in wind energy technology.

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) Votes to Gut Clean Air Act

Erik Paulsen voted to gut essential health protections in the Clean Air Act and abolish the EPA’s ability to protect the public from life-threatening pollution.  States weighed in on the debate over the Clean Air Act.  Governor Dayton, and 11 other governors, called on Congress to oppose attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act and EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases.  They wrote:

"Our states are at the front lines of the battle for economic recovery, energy security, and clean air.  These goals are not opposed to each other.  Instead, each is served by sensible, steady policies to promote investment in 21st century energy and transportation.  The Clean Air Act is the bedrock of American public health law and is well suited to these challenges."


Economic Benefits of Locally
Owned Renewable Energy

Sunday, 22 May 2011 -
Eye On Issues -
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Locally owned renewable energy can bring big economic benefits to local communities.  Half of Germany's, 43,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy are owned by regular farmers or citizens. John Farrell, Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Local Self Reliance,  reports that community ownership payments increase local revenue by over 60 percent in comparison to land lease payments by corporate turbine owners.  The additional funds spread to the entire community rather than just the turbine hosts.

Local Ownership Boosts Economic 
Impact of Renewables


Local (Low)       1.5x

Local (High)                                3.4x

Total Economic Impact

John Farrell points out that it is important to get local communities involved in both the planning and the ownership of renewable energy projects.  See Ownership (and Money) a Cure for "Not In My Back Yard:"

Governor Dayton Vetoes "the Coal Pollution Expansion Act"

Monday, 30 May 2011 14:43 - Eye On Issues - Energy
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Governor Dayton vetoed House File 1010 (Senate File 86), which would have allowed electric utilities to import up to 2,500 megawatts of coal based electricity, on May 24.

coal stacksIn April the MN Senate passed SF 86, and in May the House passed HF 1010 which was then passed by the Senate.  HF 1010 removed the ban on increased carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants and repealed Minnesota's greenhouse gas control plan.   These were key provisions of the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 passed on a bipartisan basis and approved by Governor Pawlenty. 

Before the Senate bill was passed, Michael Noble, Executive Director of Fresh Energy, Senator Scott Dibble, Representative Kate Knuth, and representatives of the Union of Concerned Scientists, American Lung Association, and youth of the Creation Care Movement spoke at a press conference.  In a news release, Kate Knuth stated,

“Coal power is not the future for energy in Minnesota. It is inefficient, expensive for Minnesota ratepayers, and releases more pollutants that contribute to climate change than any other source of electricity.   Innovative companies throughout our state are putting Minnesotans to work building our 21st century renewable energy economy.  Why would we pull the rug out on job providers on the cutting edge in order to return to a dirty, expensive technology of the past?"

Watch the video at the Uptake


Climate Change and the Technology to Halt It and Save Lives

Friday, 08 April 2011 07:46 - Eye On Issues - Energy
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Mobilizing to Save Civilization
The New Energy Economy

Watch this excellent film on the internet


"The challenge is to save civilization itself," says environmentalist Lester Brown in this documentary based on his "Plan B" book.  This video delivers a clear and unflinching message – either confront the realities of climate change or suffer the consequences of lost civilizations and failed political states.

Brown, together with other notable scholars and scientists, including Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, former Governor and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, provides a glimpse into a new and emerging economy based upon renewable resources as well as strategies to avoid the growing threat of global warming.  An enlightening film for the entire family.

Technology Available to Save Lives and Halt Global Warming

Friday, 08 April 2011 07:31 - Eye On Issues - Energy

"If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources – nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today – why wouldn't you do it?"

In a recent report, Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson and University of California - Davis researcher Mark A. Delucchi analyze what is needed to convert the world's current energy supplies to clean and sustainable sources.  They conclude that this can be done with today's technology to produce energy at comparable costs to what we pay today.  What is most needed is the societal and political will to make it happen.

Read Louis Bergeron's report on the study and watch a 2 minute YouTube of Professor Jacobson.

mark jacobsonFor more detail, listen to Professor Jacobson's seminar on his analysis of replacing current energy sources with carbon free renewables at Cornell University.  His seminar includes the cost of pollution produced by alternative energy sources.

You can download Part I and Part II of his study that appeared in the Scientific American.

Nuclear Safety Lax in both U.S. and Japan
Sunday, 20 March 2011 16:48 Eye On Issues - Energy
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japanese plant explosion


Greg Palast, award winning investigative reporter for BBC, the Guardian, and the Observer, cautions that adequate safety precautions have not been observed and false test results have been reported by nuclear corporations in both Japan and the U.S.  Read his article, "Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants: The No BS Info on Japan's Disastrous Nuclear Operators." Bloomberg News points to decades of faked safety reports for Japanese nuclear plants:  Japan Nuclear Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents by Jason Clenfield - March 18, 2011

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 08:17

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 September 2011 03:31