The Environmental Quality Board is holding public meetings across the state of Minnesota to gather input for the statewide Environmental Congress in March. Tuesday, November 27, is the only date of a meeting in the Twin Cities. It will be held at Normandale Community College from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
This is a critical opportunity to deliver a clear message to state leaders about the need for immediate action on the climate. Luckily for Minnesotans, we can make one simple request: “Implement the Next Generation Energy Act.” Signed into law in 2007 by Governor Pawlenty (R), this Act is quite possibly the most progressive climate change legislation in the nation but it has been languishing, unimplemented. We need the current Administration and legislature to move this forward.
Key Points of the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007
1. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- Relative to 2005 base levels, the state must cut greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.
- The state must derive 25% of its total energy from renewable power sources by 2025 (“25 by 25″).
- No large fossil fuel-fired power plant can be built in Minnesota.
- No utility can import electricity from a large fossil fuel-fired power plant built in another state that was not operating on Jan. 1, 2007.
2. Energy conservation: The law contains a five-part conservation and efficiency strategy, including establishing a statewide energy conservation goal of 1.5 percent of annual retail electric and gas sales.
3. Community-based energy development: The law overhauls the state’s existing energy development statutes.
An added benefit to implementing this existing law is that such significant changes in our energy infrastructure will create a large number of new jobs. Job creation is Governor Dayton’s primary focus so this message should be well received.
“Implement the Next Generation Energy Act!”
Spread the message. This soundbite must be repeated consistently to our elected officials at this and other Citizen Forums scheduled around the state:
- Rochester: Wood Lake Meeting Center, Nov. 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon
- Duluth: Lake Superior College, Nov. 28, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
- Worthington: Worthington High School, Dec 10 – 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
- St. Cloud: Stearns County Service Center, Dec 12 – 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
- Moorhead: Minnesota State University, Dec 14 – 3:00 – 5:30 p.m.