Campaign launched to educate Minnesota residents about 100 percent renewable energy

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Environment Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center is deploying dozens of door-knockers this summer in a major effort to educate Minnesotans about the prospects for shifting to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

Part of a national campaign to reach more than 1.5 million Americans, outreach staff from our office in Minneapolis will distribute literature to more than 106,000 Minnesota households, reinforcing that America can, and must, transition from dirty fuels to clean sources such as wind and solar.

“For years, we’ve been told that pollution from dirty fuels we’ve used to meet our energy needs was the price we had to pay for progress,” said Bret Fanshaw, Solar Program Coordinator with Environment Minnesota. “Those days are over. Now, we can forge ahead, emboldened by the growing numbers of people who know that 100 percent renewable energy is as feasible as it is necessary.”

The effort comes as the Trump Administration has proposed rolling back or eliminating programs to reduce pollution and promote clean, efficient, renewable energy sources. Here in Minnesota it comes on the heels of a legislative session in which Governor Dayton proposed moving the state to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, while vetoing multiple bills that sought to stifle solar power in the state.

Contrary to actions by the Trump Administration, Congress and some lawmakers in the Minnesota legislature, dozens of major corporations ranging from Apple, to Coca Cola, to Walmart are moving forward with plans to shift to 100 percent renewable energy.  

Over thirty U.S. cities, including Rochester and Cologne in Minnesota, have made similar commitments to 100 percent renewables.

“Relying on fossil fuels is polluting our air, water and land and harming our health and it’s changing our climate even faster than scientists predicted” said Fanshaw. “What’s needed is a total transformation in how and where we get our energy.”

Last year, Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center reviewed seven studies on clean energy systems conducted to date — by academics, government agencies and nonprofit organizations – suggesting there are no insurmountable technological or economic barriers to tapping the country’s vast potential to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.  

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we could meet our current electricity needs 100 times over with just solar energy and another 10 times over with just wind energy.  Our buildings could use 50 percent less energy if we made them more efficient. And, every day technologies advance in ways that makes the job even easier.

“With virtually unlimited reserves of renewable energy, getting to 100 percent renewable energy is 100 percent necessary and 100 percent possible,” said Fanshaw. “The time to act is now.”  

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