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MINNESOTA CLEAN ENERGY & JOBS CAMPAIGN HOLDS EARTH DAY CAPITOL RALLY

April 23rd, 2014

Governor Mark Dayton, Will Steger, U.S. Rep. McCollum, State Sen. Marty and State Rep. Hortman joined call for responsible Minnesota clean energy plan 

SAINT PAUL, MN – After the Minnesota House took up omnibus energy legislation, Governor Mark Dayton joined hundreds of Minnesotans today for an Earth Day rally to promote a responsible Minnesota Clean Energy Plan that strives for at least half of the state’s energy to be renewable 2030 and scales up efficiency programs—a plan that will help protect our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water, create quality jobs, preserves Minnesota’s four seasons and leaves a legacy for our children and our grandchildren. 

Governor Dayton, along with arctic explorer Will Steger, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, State Rep. Melissa Hortman and State Sen. John Marty urged advances in clean, renewable energy. 

The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs Campaign is working in 2014 to improve energy-efficiency opportunities for our schools; create low-cost energy-efficiency financing tools for businesses; and simplify and standardize regulations governing design and installation of the systems to generate clean energy from renewable resources.

“We need a responsible strategy to transition Minnesota to clean, renewable energy resources,” said arctic explorer Will Steger, president of the Will Steger Foundation. “These policies will help preserve Minnesota’s four seasons and protect the special natural places for our children and grandchildren to enjoy our Great Outdoors for generations to come.” 

The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign also urged legislators to support the Omnibus Energy Bill (HF2834), which will increase the amount of wind and solar on Minnesota’s electric system; eliminate regulatory hurdles that raise costs for wind and solar; make financing renewable energy convenient for individuals and businesses; require electric utilities to make plans for 80 percent carbon emission reductions by 2050; and clean up Minnesota’s energy statutes by eliminating old and out of date sections.

The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign mobilizes more than 60 energy, labor, youth, faith, environment, business, and conservation groups to advance groundbreaking state legislation that creates jobs for Minnesotans and generates clean, local, renewable energy while protecting our health and the air we breathe.

The coalition also emphasized the importance of clean energy to create quality jobs for Minnesotans. After losing his job in 2008, Winona-resident Tim Gulden started his own solar installation business and—since the passage of the statewide solar standard last year—has seen his business increased significantly. 

“The solar standard, with its Made in Minnesota incentives, has increased demand for solar. I am living proof that renewable energy is creating jobs and economic opportunities for the people of this state,” said Gulden. 

For more information and a list of the organizations participating in the Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign, visit www.cleanenergyjobs.mn. 

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Partners

Alliance for Sustainability | American Wind Energy Association | Applied Energy Innovations | Audubon Minnesota | BlueGreen Alliance | Center for Rural Affairs | Citizen Climate Lobby | Clean Up the River Environment | Clean Water Action | Communications Workers of America Minnesota State Council | Conservation Minnesota | Cool Planet | Distributed Wind Energy Association | Duluth Audubon Society | EDF Renewable Energy | EDP Renewables | Environment Minnesota | Environmental Law and Policy Center | Envision Minnesota | Eureka Recycling | Fresh Energy | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness | Friends of the Mississippi River | Grand Aspirations | Green Water Energy | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Institute for Energy and Environmental Research | Institute for Local Self-Reliance | Izaak Walton League | Land Stewardship Project | League of Women Voters - Minnesota | Lower Phalen Creek Project | Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota | Mankato Area Environmentalists | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy | Minnesota Community Solar | Minnesota Conservation Federation | Minnesota Environmental Partnership | Minnesota Food Association | Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light | Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union | Minnesota Project | Minnesota Public Interest Research Group | Minnesota Renewable Energy Society | Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter | Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association | Minnesota Youth Environmental Network | MN350 | Natural Resources Defense Council | North American Water Office | Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness | Permaculture Cold Climate Research Institute | PRC Wind | Renewing the Countryside | Save Lake Superior Association | SEIU Minnesota State Council | Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 | Sierra Club North Star Chapter | Southeastern Minnesotans for Environmental Protection | Transit for Livable Communities | Union of Concerned Scientists | United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 | United Steelworkers District 11 | Vote Solar - Minnesota | Will Steger Foundation | Wind on the Wires | Windustry