U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared Friday with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the 3M plant in Maplewood.
Chu talked about the importance of renewable energy, and working on technologies and products that improve energy efficiency. Chu says energy issues will be crucial to the country's prosperity in the future.
Chu also outlined the Obama administration's plan to reduce the cost of renewable energy before the end of the decade, and generate 80 percent of the country's electricity from clean sources by the year 2035.
"The world has to go to more efficient infrastructure, more efficient buildings, more efficient transportation, more efficient everything -- including manufacturing," he said. "It has to go to developing newer sources of energy that ultimately will not only be cost competitive we'd like to say ultimately could be less costly than the more traditional ways of generating energy."
Chu says the U.S. generates roughly 40 percent of its electricity from clean sources today.
Chu was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997.
Klobuchar is pushing a bill that would promote science, math and engineering education for students. The bipartisan legislation would also cut red tape to help businesses do research and development for new products and promote U.S. exports in new markets.
She said says she's working with the administration on ways to encourage American students at all levels of their education to pursue the sciences.
"How do we get students to go into science and math and engineering and be the next energy secretary and go into fields where we make stuff again, where we invent stuff again, where we export to the world, that is what this is about," she said.
Klobuchar and Secretary Chu also held a private roundtable with business leaders on the subject of energy innovation.