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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Rep. Melissa Hortman Announces Renewable Energy Standard

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Recent Study Showed Standard Can Be Reached With Little Additional Cost Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) joined Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, and other legislators this week to announce legislation that will promote energy independence and economic growth. The legislation, called the Renewable Energy Standard, requires utilities produce 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. "This is an important step forward in the drive to energy independence for the people of Minnesota," Hortman said. "Every Minnesotan will benefit from this legislation, which will help lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. In the long run it will be good for our family budgets and great for the environment." Rep. Hortman pointed to a study released by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission which found that utilities could use wind power to generate up to 25 percent of their energy mix without a significant impact on energy costs. The study, titled the Midwest Wind Integration Study, was ordered by the legislature in 2005. "This study shows that we can accomplish our goal at a minimal cost," she said. Hortman also noted that the standard would be a boon to Minnesota's economy because it will promote investment in renewable energy. "Right now, Minnesota imports more electricity than any other state in the country," Hortman said. "This legislation will jump start a whole new energy industry in Minnesota. It will create hundreds of jobs and attract investment dollars." The legislation builds on preexisting Minnesota law that asks utilities to make a good-faith effort to have at least ten percent of their energy come from renewable sources by 2015. -30-