Gov. Walz’s plan for carbon-free electricity in Minnesota by the year 2050 is quite similar to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s (D- NY) Green New Deal, supported by Representative Ilhan Omar (D- MN). This Minnesota Green New Deal has severe economic implications on Minnesota families, as highlighted by Isaac Orr, Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment.
Orr of the Center of the American Experiment also notes that this proposal would cost Minnesota $80.1 billion just to “meet this standard and maintain a reliable electric grid through 2050.” This makes Minnesota electric bills skyrocket by more than 40%, costing families upwards of $375 more in electricity per year, Orr points out.
“Greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota electric utilities represent 0.00075 of global carbon dioxide emissions” Orr points out, stating that this plan has “zero measurable environmental effects” as it’s contribution decrease to the environment is so small it cannot be measured by scientific equipment.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Utilities, Senator Osmek (R- Mound), has stated the importance of an “‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy, if for no other reason than as a backup in emergency situations”, citing the recent cold weather spell in Minnesota and the importance of traditional energy during that time, especially in greater Minnesota.
The private market is already making strides towards more environmentally conscious practices on its own, without governmental involvement. Xcel Energy has already pledged to make to make their electricity carbon free by 2050 and is one of three electricity providers in the State. Due to these advancements, in 2016 renewable energy was the second largest electricity source and showed a positive trend toward becoming number 1.
Despite these private market advancements, Walz insists government involvement is still the best route for Minnesota and has shown this heavy commitment in many other measures including raising Minneapolis Taxes for further Metropolitan Council funding, increasing the Minnesota gas tax, and adding to the Minnesota debt despite a massive budget surplus.
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