To: Chairperson Wagenius
Members of the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division
February 5, 2019
In 2007, nobody really knew if it was possible. But we knew we had to try.
Today, Minnesota has reached the renewable energy goals set in the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act seven years early. Reaching 25% renewable energy has shown not only that achieving our clean energy future is possible, it can bring a wealth of economic, health, and quality of life benefits.
We support this 100% Clean Energy Bill. The benchmarks it outlines for achieving renewable and carbon free energy should be the new baseline – with hopes of reaching them even faster than spelled out in the proposed law.
We know that urgent, intentional action is required to prevent further harm to the health, environment, and well-being of Minnesota’s people and communities.
Minnesotans are already starting to feel the impacts of a changing climate. Our winters are warming 13-times faster than our summers and extreme weather is becoming more frequent. Health problems like asthma and allergies for Minnesotans, and diseases spread by ticks and mosquitos are on the rise because of warming temperatures. Last year alone, Minnesota saw 10 natural disasters that impacted 49 counties and cost $40 million.
Minnesota’s farmers, orchardists, foresters, resorters, and others are feeling the impact of a changing climate on their livelihoods. Communities with lower incomes and those already struggling with health problems are feeling the impact of a changing climate on their health. We must focus our efforts to transition to clean energy by working with these most impacted communities and ensuring an ambitious, equitable, and affordable transition from fossil fuels.
This is the moment for Minnesota to lead on 100% clean energy once again. Since 2007, clean energy has become a success story for Minnesota’s economy. Nearly 60,000 Minnesotans are now employed in the clean energy and efficiency sector – and Minnesota’s clean energy industry is growing twice as fast as the rest of our economy. These jobs are growing here because Minnesota has shown investors that we are serious about our clean energy economy.
By taking action now, Minnesota can build a thriving and equitable clean energy economy that works for every Minnesotan.
Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Alliance for Sustainability
Austin Coalition for Environmental Sustainability
Center for Biological Diversity
Citizens Climate Lobby – Minnesota
Clean Water Action
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)
Humming for Bees
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Izaak Walton League – Cass County Chapter
Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division
League of Women Voters – Minnesota
Mankato Area Environmentalists
Minnesota Can’t Wait Campaign
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
Minnesota Ornithologists Union
Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Sierra Club North Star Chapter
Wilderness in the City