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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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News from Dave

Friday, February 15, 2019

Dear Friends,

It’s been another busy week in St. Paul. I hope you have been able to stay warm as the extreme cold weather looks to be coming to an end soon.

This week, let’s talk about energy

Earlier this week, Governor Walz disappointingly decided to proceed with efforts to legally challenge the Enbridge Line 3 replacement pipeline. This project is desperately needed to replace the current pipeline which is decaying and puts folks living in northern Minnesota and our environment at risk.

Governor Walz’s petition challenges the unanimous decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to grant the certificate of need for the pipeline.

Building a new, safer pipeline is the right thing to do to ensure the safety of Minnesotans and to protect our environment. I urge Governor Walz to reverse course and allow this important project to proceed.

A number of energy-related bills have been moving through the legislature this session. One specific bill that has received a great deal of attention is House File 700. This bill would require that 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2050.

I am supportive of exploring new ways to reduce our carbon-footprint and am in favor of utilizing renewable energy sources whenever we can. However, mandating that 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources is an unreasonable proposition at this time.

Finally, I am authoring legislation this year that would include "energy storage", as part of the utility planning process. This would include things like devices that would be capable of storing wind and solar generated power to be used by companies when it's needed later, thus helping preserve energy.

This legislation is bipartisan and I am hopeful that we can get this across the finish line this year.

Finally, I hope all you lovebirds were able to enjoy Valentine’s Day yesterday. I am so lucky to have my wife Mary by my side, I love you very much.

As always, I'll continue to have more updates as the legislative session progresses. In the meantime, please be sure to reach out to me and share any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. I can be reached at rep.dave.baker@house.mn or you can call 651-296-6206.

Have a good weekend,

Dave

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