Doing carbon-cutting right will be a triple win for Minnesota

Alexis Williams’ recent op-ed “Minnesota’s carbon-cutting plan should maximize efficiency and renewable-energy development” (July 24) could not be more on-point about the opportunity for Minnesota’s clean energy future.

Without question, Minnesota is a leader among states in renewable energy. Williams’ insights are exceptionally timely, not only because Minnesota is one of 30 forward-thinking states with market-focused goals for renewable energy, but because it is projected to surpass these goals well in advance of the 2025 target. Here’s a fact: By next year, Minnesota will get more than 25 percent of its energy from renewables, boosting local economies and lowering energy costs for consumers.

Now, instead of sitting back to allow other states to catch up, Minnesota has an opportunity to press forward. As the article smartly points out, the dangers of slowing our commitment to cutting carbon emissions are very real: air pollution and climate change will continue to have a negative impact on health, agriculture and the economy.

Doubling down on renewable energy is good for Minnesota’s economy. More than 75,000 people in Minnesota have jobs in green goods and services and the renewable industry amassed well over $470 million of asset finance in last year — two figures that will only grow. Adding to this positive forecast, a new poll revealed that 79 percent of Midwestern business leaders said that renewable energy will help their business and 78 percent are interested in investing in the renewable sector in the future.

Minnesota’s carbon-cutting plan should maximize efficiency and renewable-energy development because it’s a triple win for Minnesota: a healthier environment, jobs through booming business investments and home-grown sustainable energy for today.

Todd Foley is senior vice president, Policy & Government Relations, American Council On Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C.

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