Every Election season, organizations and communities across Minnesota hold events to give the public an opportunity to interact with local candidates for public office. As part of MEP’s 2010 Candidate Education project, we have compiled a list of questions related to clean energy that could be used at a public forum. Please consider attending a candidate event this year and making sure that candidates are speaking about issues that are important to you!
Some sample questions – related to energy – are listed below. Feel free to use questions from this list or come with your own question about an issue that you and your organization(s) care about!
1. Minnesota has no coal, oil, natural gas or uranium deposits. As a result, Minnesotans send billions of dollars out of our state every year in order to purchase these fuel sources from other states and/or countries. What is your plan to make Minnesota truly energy independent?
2. With countries like China and Germany surpassing the United States in renewable energy investments, what will you do/support to keep Minnesota relevant in an increasingly competitive global clean energy economy?
3. A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the clean energy sector created jobs in Minnesota at a rate six times faster than Minnesota’s economy as a whole over a ten year period. What policies/proposals would you support to ensure that Minnesota maximizes the job creation potential from investments in clean energy?
4. While Minnesota has made significant gains in the deployment of renewable sources of energy, we are increasingly lagging behind neighboring states like Iowa when it comes to the actual manufacturing of renewable energy components, like wind turbines. What policies would you support to help encourage the growth of Minnesota’s manufacturing sector in clean energy and other fast-growing fields?
5. In 2007, Governor Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act, which included a statewide renewable energy standard along with a requirement that utilities meet annual efficiency goals. What role, if any, should the state have in helping utilities meet these objectives?
6. Minnesotans consume oil at a rate of 2.9 gallons per person per day, which exceeds the national average. All of this oil is imported from sources outside of Minnesota, meaning that billions of dollars leave Minnesota’s economy every year. What is your plan for continuing to invest in Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure while moving us away from a reliance on fuel that cannot be generated here at home?