There's a bipartisan effort in Minnesota to increase the state's goal of using more renewable energy.
In 2015, 21 percent of Minnesota's energy came from renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro and biomass. This puts the state in a good position to surpass the 25 percent by 2025 goal set by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007.
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith announced an effort to increase Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard to 50 percent by 2030, with the Smith adding it will "improve air quality, continue to drive down the cost of renewable energy, and generate thousands of new energy jobs."
The bill also boosts the goal for 2025 from 25 percent to 37 percent.
"Minnesota has been a nationwide leader in promoting renewable energy, reaping the rewards in good paying jobs, cost savings for our people, and environmental benefits," Sen. Nick Frentz, a Democrat, said in a statement. "This bill sends a strong message that we intend to stay that way."
According to a fact sheet on the bill, increasing Minnesota's renewable energy usage to 50 percent by 2030 would create 1,500 new jobs and keep energy dollars in the state (currently Minnesota imports $13 billion worth of energy), as well as restore the state's natural resources and improve the health of many Minnesotans.
St. Paul's Climate Action Plan
The Legislature isn't the only governing body in Minnesota looking to lower the state's carbon footprint.
The first of three public meetings will be held in St. Paul Monday night to discuss a potential "Climate Action Plan" for the city. This plan would be an organized effort to improve energy efficiency in buildings and homes, as well as increase how much renewable energy the city uses, the Pioneer Press reports.
Monday's meeting will be all about energy use in buildings. Future meetings, which haven't been scheduled, will discuss resiliency to climate change, and transportation, natural resources and waste, according to the city's website.
The hope is to present a Climate Action Plan to the St. Paul City Council by the end of the year, the Pioneer Press notes.