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Event billed as affordable energy rally; protesters say it’s organized by lobbyists

Organizers say a lunch-time rally today in South St. Paul will focus on affordable energy. Its sponsors include groups that often advocate for lower taxes.

But protesters claim the event is “organized by Washington lobbyists” and is aimed at trying to kill the pending Clean Energy Act.

Rally organizers say the Minnesota Energy Citizens’ Rally will show how climate change legislation being debated in Washington affects Minnesotans.

When: Monday, Aug. 31 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Clarion Hotel, 701 S. Concord St.,  South St. Paul

Named sponsors:

  • MN Farm Bureau
  • River Heights Chamber of Commerce
  • Freedom Foundation of Minnesota
  • Free Market Institute
  • MN Taxpayers League
  • Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Associated General Contractors of Minnesota

Protesters, though — who include state Reps. Jeremy Kalin and Kate Knuth; the Rev. Luther Dale, a Lutheran pastor; Ralph Jacobson, CEO of Innovative Power Systems; Mario Montesterio of Westwood Renewables; Margaret Levin, Sierra Club state director; Jenna Garland of Clean Water Action and 1Sky; and Samantha Chadwick of Environment Minnesota — say the event is “being organized in order to kill the popular clean energy jobs bill being considered by the Senate this fall.”

They say a recent Zogby poll found that 71 percent of likely voters supported the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, or the ACES bill, which passed the House in late June.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by rolf westgard on 08/31/2009 - 04:16 pm.

    The Obama administration asserts that massive investments in green energy will create a large number of jobs. President Obama wants to harness the power of alternative and renewable energy,to create five million new green jobs, good jobs that cannot be outsourced. The $58 billion on energy programs in the stimulus package is supposed by itself to foster over 450,000 new jobs.

    The fact is that green energy subsidies lose as many jobs as they create. Spain is perhaps the most aggressive subsidizer of green energy of any country, especially on wind and solar. A new study from King Carlos University shows that for every green job created in Spain, they lose 2.2 jobs in the industrial sector. That’s mainly from increasing energy costs which cause energy intensive industries to move or close. Unemployment in Spain is nearing 20 percent, despite its forests of towering turbines and acres of solar panels on the Costa del Sol.
    The study notes that Since 2000 Spain has spent $800,000 to create each green job.

    U.S. industry is developing renewable technology in solar, wind, algae biofuels, etc. with research support from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We don’t need additional billions to prematurely implement technology that isn’t ready for production, and needs large taxpayer subsidies to be competitive.

    Proven and competitive nuclear power and domestic natural gas have the capacity to replace much of our coal burning electric power, while greatly reducing harmful emissions. They can also provide the needed additional megawatts as electricity powers more of our transportation. Investing in those cost competitive energy sources will create jobs.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 08/31/2009 - 05:41 pm.

    Mr. Westgard: While there may be immediate increases in energy costs from green sources, they are probably minicule compared to the cost of NOT making the switch until after we have run out of fossil fuels.

  3. Submitted by rolf westgard on 09/01/2009 - 05:02 am.

    Bernice, the delusion that green sources can provide a “switch” is preventing us from hard choices like life style changes, conservation, and carbon taxes.

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