I wanted to share with you a letter I sent to one of our district papers about a very important provision in the Energy Omnibus bill that could have an impact on families across Minnesota.
The budget process is in full swing with most of the omnibus bills that will make up the 2014-2015 biennium budget having been introduced. I invite you to send me your thoughts and opinions as we wind down the last several weeks of session on the budget or any of the other pieces of legislation we're debating here in Saint Paul. I look forward to reading your input.
Have a great weekend,
Renewable energy bill would mean higher costs for all
Ron Kresha, State Representative, District 09B
One of my top priorities this session has been to be a voice for Greater Minnesota. From the time session began, we've seen policies that have favored the Metro-area, many times at the expense of rural areas.
One of the less-discussed parts of the Energy Omnibus bill put forward by the majority is a provision that would require Minnesota's renewable energy mandate to be expanded to 40% by 2030 and that a certain percentage of all energy in Minnesota be produced by solar energy sources.
A study in April 2011 estimated that the renewable mandate would cost an additional $15.04 billion dollars from 2016 to 2025, and that the solar mandate would cost an additional $26 billion dollars. That money would not be absorbed by the companies -- it would be passed on to every homeowner who pays an electric bill in Minnesota.
It's been my commitment since day one here in Saint Paul to make sure we're passing legislation that's good for Greater Minnesota. This bill would be devastating to rural electric co-ops that don't have the customer base or density to absorb these added costs. Not only would it increase costs, but it could have a destructive impact on jobs for rural electric companies.
Increasing our use of renewable energy is a worthy goal, and I am not opposed to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels or establishing standards. But this is the wrong way to do it. It picks winners and losers, and would mean higher energy costs for all Minnesotans. Instead we should work with our energy companies and our consumers and strive for a win-win success.