DFL state lawmakers propose what they say is most ambitious clean energy goal in U.S.

Wind turbines near Blue Earth, Minn.
These wind turbines near Blue Earth, Minn., in February 2018 are part of expanding wind energy production in south central Minnesota. DFL state lawmakers introduced a bill proposing Minnesota use 100 percent clean energy by 2040.
Mark Steil | MPR News 2018

With a slate of executive actions this week, President Joe Biden is aiming the country to use 100 percent clean energy by 2050. In a bill introduced last week, DFL Minnesota lawmakers propose doing it by 2040.

“That is a full decade faster than the bill the governor, and myself and Sen. Nick Frentz proposed last session, and we’re updating the targets because we’ve seen that we’re failing to meet our greenhouse gas goals as a state, and we’ve also seen clean energy become cheaper and cheaper,” said Rep. Jamie Long, DFL-Minneapolis, who chairs his chamber’s Climate and Energy Finance and Policy committee.

A Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report out this month says the state has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent since 2005. In 2007, it set a target of 30 percent by 2025.

Long said the new goals, which still must pass both chambers of the state legislature, would be more ambitious than any others in the country. While New York plans to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2040, Long said Minnesota would have an interim goal of 90 percent by 2035, which is not included in New York’s plan.

Long joined MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner on this week’s Climate Cast. Hear their conversation using the audio player above, or download the Climate Cast podcast.

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