Minnesota Embraces Renewable Energy

Law will require 25% production of renewables by 2025 February 22, 2007 New York, NY - Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a breakthrough portfolio standard energy bill today, requiring 25% of the state's electricity be produced from renewable sources by 2025. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ellen Anderson and Representative Aaron Peterson, is among the boldest nationwide. At present, only half of Minnesota's power is produced by coal, while only eight percent comes from renewables such as wind, hydroelectric, or solar. Although the renewable portfolio standard is one of the highest in the nation, experts believe the state could beat its deadline by as much as five years. Rep. Peterson detailed his bill and efforts in a nationwide conference call on RPS sponsored by the Progressive States Network, a state-policy organization providing support for legislators sponsoring similar legislation in other states. "Renewable energy already employs 12,000 Minnesotans and adds $2.3 billion to the economy. This bill will not only decrease our dependence on foreign oil sources, but will fill the state's coffers with revenue and generate thousands more good paying jobs," said Mijin Cha, an energy policy specialist with the Progressive States Network. “Minnesota legislators and Governor Pawlenty deserves to be congratulated for their leadership on this issue.”? The Progressive States Network was founded in 2005 to drive public policy debates and change the political landscape in the United States by focusing on attainable and progressive state level actions. It accomplishes this mission by uniting policy makers with experts and grassroots organizations to provide the combination of efforts needed to advance good policy.