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News Release: Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign holds Earth Day Capitol rally to promote clean energy and jobs

April 22nd, 2013

Governor Mark Dayton, Will Steger, Rep. Ellison, Speaker Thissen join call for clean energy and jobs legislation

SAINT PAUL, MN - On Earth Day, April 22, 2013, Governor Mark Dayton joined hundreds of clean energy advocates for a rally that encouraged legislators to advance groundbreaking legislation that will create jobs for Minnesotans and generate clean, local, renewable energy. The event capped off a day of action led by the Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign.

“We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, and we owe it to our grandchildren to look for ecologically sustainable, environmentally renewable sources of energy, and if we put our ingenuity together we’ll find it,” said Governor Mark Dayton. Governor Dayton, along with Will Steger, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen urged advances in clean, renewable energy.

The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign is asking legislators to strengthen the state’s renewable energy standard to 40 percent by 2030; make Minnesota a leader in solar energy by enacting a solar energy standard of 10 percent by 2030; and to save consumers money by improving energy efficiency and making it easier to generate local power.

“Six years ago, the state came together in a bipartisan way to pass landmark policies to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency. But we still have work to do,” said Will Steger. “These policies will take Minnesota further down the road to a clean energy future that provides good jobs and protects the environment for generations to come.”

Wind provides up to 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in Minnesota; research shows that just one 250-megawatt wind project will create more than 1,000 jobs over the life of the project. Minnesota’s wind-related supply chain also includes more than 100 Minnesota companies, and the wind industry represents jobs throughout the state from all sectors, including truck drivers, crane operators, earth movers, cement workers, and various construction, management and engineering positions. Despite creating thousands of jobs by driving a market for wind energy in this state, Minnesota has fallen to seventh in the nation for installed wind farms.

Meanwhile, more than 100 businesses already exist throughout Minnesota in the solar industry. Implementing the Solar Energy Jobs Act will create over 2,000 permanent jobs in the first year after the standard is passed, and thousands of jobs over the life of the policy. In addition, passing the solar standard would bring over $230 million in value-added investments in the state in just the first year, and much more over the life of the policy.

The Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs campaign mobilizes more than 60 energy, labor, youth, faith, environment, and conservation groups, as well as clean energy businesses to answer Governor Mark Dayton’s call to establish Minnesota’s clean energy future – by advancing clean, renewable sources of energy while creating and supporting good jobs for Minnesotans.

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

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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 | 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 Conservation Federation | Minnesota Environmental Partnership | Minnesota Food Association | Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light | Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union | 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