ROCHESTER, Minn. -
The world is getting warmer. NASA reports 2019 was the second warmest year ever. Sen. Dave Senjem wants to take action.
"The point is we are the kind of state that has a lot of green power," Senjem said.
The Rochester Republican's bill may have a better chance of becoming law than the DFL's proposal to make the state's energy grid carbon-free in 30 years. While "Clean Energy First" has a measure of bi-partisan support, it's taking fire from critics.
"Unfortunately not only does this new Senate proposal not include a commitment to 100-percent carbon-free energy, this gutted version of clean energy first is in name only," Morris said.
In this energy industry, though, Senjem's bill is lauded.
"More flexibility, not less, is key to reducing Minnesota's net carbon footprint, this bill provides a more sustainable approach to carbon," Zac Ruzycki, the manager of Power Supply at Great River Energy said.
Minnesota construction and building professionals want to see the measure tweaked.
"It's our hope it would be amended to include specific requirements for majority local hire like some contractors and developers have committed to and prevailing wage policies," Nate O'Reilly said.
However this turns out legislatively - there appears to be an increasingly bipartisan acknowledgment Minnesota must go green.
"Minnesotans want clean and equitable energy," Morris said.
There will be another hearing next week.