Energy and Economic Development

dsc00026.JPGRecently, I met with some local energy and environmental experts who shared with me their thoughts, concerns, and dreams about how to make positive change for our envi-ronment and our local economy.

They believe we can transform our community by producing our own renewable energy and developing policies that promote conservation.  We might be able to keep the $20 million that leaves Northfield to pay for our energy needs circulating in our local economy.

We can create a synergy with private and public education around energy technology and policy that would be on the cutting edge of economic development.  We can do our part to solve our growing global warming problem by reducing the carbon released into the atmosphere.

What do we need to do as a state and a community?

First, we need to face the problem squarely.  Admit that Carbon pollution is a huge problem, and if we do nothing the world, as we know it today will change dramatically.  This pollution is caused by coal fired power plants (1/3), Automobiles and transporta-tion (1/3), and by residential and commercial buildings.

Second, we need to get on with the transition to renewable energy.  The legislature has failed to pass an Energy Standard, most groups advocate for 20%; Minnesota has no en-ergy resource: we import coal, Oil, uranium, and natural gas. We are producing ethanol from corn but it can’t be the only solution to our energy needs.  Our greatest untapped resources are wind, biomass, geothermal and solar.  We need to find ways to encourage development and use of these resources.

Third, we need to promote and support the technological development that will make renewable energy practical.  This is potentially a great economic development program that with distributed generation can benefit the whole state.

Then we need to implement the use of incentives and regulations to promote conservation.  This has been done with great success in the past to make sure we are producing low energy use appliances, but can be applied to homes, buildings, cars and everything that uses and produces energy, from light bulbs to roofing tiles from Hastings Roofing MN; It could include loans and grants to develop geothermal heating to a carbon tax.

What will this do?  This will reduce the amount of carbon we send up in the air and make our lakes and streams cleaner.

It will create jobs and improve education as the demand for high skilled workers grows.  It will promote economic development across the state and will improve quality of life.  It will reduce the amount of toxic agents in the air and water and should improve the general health of our state.

Finally, we need to elect a Democrat with real concerns about the environment and the economy from this district who will carry this agenda to St. Paul. services from SWS Roofing

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