An alliance of green energy, labor and faith groups said Thursday they would mount a campaign to get Minnesota to increase its current renewable energy standard, which requires that at least 15 percent of the energy sold in the state come from renewable resources.
The group, which calls itself the Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign, wants that increased to 40 percent by 2030.
“Energy efficiency creates jobs that people can live on,” said Justin Fay, the manager of the campaign. “Construction jobs doing home or business retrofits and designing and manufacturing the components needed to make our buildings more energy efficient all will create good jobs for workers.”
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, signed the 15-percent renewable standard into law in 2007. Under that law, Minnesota's current standard will raise to 25 percent by 2025.
It has since become a target for some Republicans who call it an unneeded burden on energy production, and the alliance may have trouble getting support from the House’s new Republican majority.
Still, members of the new coalition said they saw the potential to build bipartisan support, and noted that a number of the state’s most prominent utilities are already exceeding the 15-percent standard.