Green goes main street

Smart car
An energy efficient SMART car, on display at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Gov. Tim Pawlenty officially raised the bar on renewable energy Thursday morning, by signing into law a new standard requiring Minnesota to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The state's previous goal had been to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2015. More than 20 states around the country have now set some kind of renewable energy goal.

New York Times syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman likes to say: "Green has gone main street." Friedman argues that in the last few years, the American people have become increasingly concerned about environmental issues and energy independence, and Tom Friedman hopes that change leads to a fundamental re-shaping of American policy and politics.

Friedman spoke about his ideas on green politics, as well as the war in Iraq, at an event last week in Minneapolis.

Amory Lovins has been figuring out ways to reduce oil consumption for years. He founded the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute back in 1982, and remains its CEO to this day.

Lovins is an experimental physicist, and his latest book, co-written with other staff members from the Institute, is "Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profits, Jobs and Security."

Amory Lovins explained some of his ideas for making automobiles vastly more efficient in a speech late last year at the Commonwealth Club of California.

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