Friday, May 15, 2009

Legislature balks on common-sense energy policy

The 2009 Legislature is poised for adjournment, and another session will likely end with another disappointment on energy policy – specifically when it comes to preparing Minnesota for future base-load electricity needs. Earlier in the session, the Minnesota Senate had voted 42-24 to remove the ban on additional nuclear power in this state; the House, however, rejected the measure 60-72. The conference committee, which finished its deliberations May 13, chose not adopt the ban in its report.

This means 102 legislators voted to repeal the gag rule that prevents regulators from talking about nuclear energy. It begs the obvious question: Why won’t the other 96 lawmakers even let us seriously consider additional nuclear power as an option? Translated, that means Minnesota's base-load energy policy is 'just say no.”

Furthermore, the conference committee report on the omnibus energy bill does nothing to make Minnesota’s electric costs more competitive, which is an important element of growing our economy in the future.

It’s disappointing that the Legislature has rejected the conclusion that a majority of Minnesota legislators, Governor Pawlenty, and most Minnesotans have reached – namely, that Minnesota should have all options on the table when it comes to meeting our future power needs.

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