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In advance of today’s Chamber of Commerce debate in Saint Cloud, which will likely focus heavily on jobs and the economy, highlight’s Tom Emmer’s opposition to making Minnesota a leader in the emerging clean energy economy.

In Saint Cloud this past July, Tom
Emmer — who refers to climate science as “Al Gore’s climate porn” —
dismissed the potential for green jobs as nothing but a “fancy marketing
slogan,” saying that not enough was being done to exploit dirty fossil
fuel technology.

Tom Emmer’s backwards position on climate and energy put Minnesota at
a disadvantage, especially when it comes to creating jobs. A study by PERI and the Center for American Progress found “Minnesota could see a net
increase of about $2.7 billion in investment revenue and 30,000 jobs
based on its share of a total of $150 billion in clean-energy
investments annually across the country.”

Most of this investments will come from private businesses encouraged
by the Recovery Act, which Tom Emmer opposed. It’s clear that when it
comes to making Minnesota a leader in clean energy jobs, Tom Emmer — who
says he can’t guarantee his “jobs plan” will save or create a single
job — would rather side with corporate special interests than the
thousands of Minnesotans looking for work.

For more on Tom Emmer’s plan to take Minnesota backwards, visit an


Clean Energy Investments Create Jobs In Minnesota

Investments in a clean-energy economy will generate major employment
benefits for Minnesota and the rest of the U.S. economy. Our research
finds that Minnesota could see a net increase of about $2.7 billion in
investment revenue and 30,000 jobs based on its share of a total of $150
billion in clean-energy investments annually across the country.

This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments.

Adding 30,000 jobs to the Minnesota labor market in 2008 would have
brought the state’s unemployment rate down to 4.4 percent from its
actual 2008 level of 5.4 percent. [Robert Pollin, James Heintz, and
Heidi Garrett-Peltier for PERI and Center for American Progress,

Tom Emmer Dismissed Minnesota’s Potential To Build A Clean Energy Economy

Emmer also downplayed Minnesota’s green energy
potential. Proponents say that industry is poised to take off if
jump-started with government investment and mandates. DFL governor
candidate Matt Entenza said last week that St. Cloud could become a hub
for green energy production.

To Emmer, the
term “green jobs” is a “fancy marketing slogan.” He says too little is
being done to develop fossil-fuel technology, and would lift the state’s
mandate requiring energy companies to draw a fixed percentage of power
from renewable energy sources. [Saint Cloud Times, 07/23/2010]

Emmer Opposed The So-Called “25 By 25” Renewable Energy Standards

On February 19, 2007, Emmer voted against the so-called “25
by 25” renewable energy standard. Included in SF 4, the standard passed
in the House on a bipartisan 123-10 vote. The bill requires Minnesota
utility companies to get at least a quarter of their power from
renewable sources such as wind and solar, by the year 2025. [Minnesota
House of Representatives, SF 4 2007, House Journal 446]

Environmental Groups Heralded 25 By 25 As A Big Win

Conservation Minnesota said that the new financial
opportunities created by requiring new renewable power sources could
result in billions of dollars of economic growth in Minnesota.
[Conservation Minnesota 2007 Legislative Scorecard, accessed 5/25/2010]

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