Rep. Kalin starts job as chair of White House working group on energy and climate change

State Rep. Jeremy Kalin, a second-term DFLer from North Branch, is preparing for his first meeting this afternoon as chair of the newly formed White House Working Group of State Legislators on Energy and Climate Control.

The group of about 40 state legislators from around the country hopes to help get the American Climate and Energy Security (ACES) Act legislation through Congress. Two other Minnesota legislators — Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St. Paul, and Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton — are also on the panel.

Today’s meeting will be via tele-conference. Sometime next month, Kalin expects the group to meet Washington.

Kalin said the White House hopes to tap the expertise of legislators from such states as Minnesota, where clean energy and green jobs legislation has progressed far faster than on the federal level.

He said after health insurance reform gets resolved in Congress, “the next real opportunity for real economic prosperity will be the clean energy jobs bill in the Senate.” He hopes his working group will help move things along.

At today’s meeting, Kalin hopes to determine how visible the group hopes to be, talk more about the key policy provisions the group hopes to tackle. And they’ll discuss regional differences within group.

“There are very different challenges on this issue in the mountain states, the ag states, the rust belt and industrial northeast,” he said.

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