Minnesota’s 2007 Next Generation Energy Act instructed Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) to convene a group of 50 advisors from the energy industry, nonprofits, business, agriculture, and health to come up with recommendations to cut global warming emissions.
The Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group just announced 50 recommendations they’re sending to the governor and the legislature. The recommendations did not have to be approved unanimously. Here are a few:
- A Regional cap-and-trade system was strongly endorsed. It would cover electric utilities, industry, large agriculture operations and producers and importers of gas, diesel and heating fuels. The advisory group said it needed to do more study before recommending whether the carbon allowances should be given away or auctioned off.
- Replace one-third of gasoline use with biofuels
- Recommend that the legislature consider pricing that includes a fuel tax or registration fees based on how much CO2 a vehicle emits
- Adopt California’s clean car standards
- Lower the speed limit to 55mph
- Set a carbon limit for new coal-fired power plants, which will likely stop any new coal plants from being proposed unless they have carbon capture and storage technology
- There were two exceptions to this: The proposed Big Stone II coal plant (an old-fashioned, pulverized plant planned for South Dakota, with the power going to MN) and the Mesaba coal-gasification plant (another expensive, controversial plant proposed for the state’s Iron Range)
These are all just ideas and recommendations right now. We’ll have to wait for the more detailed action plan to come out in the next few weeks and then watch what the governor and legislature does with them.