Minnesota will require electricity providers to shift to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 if a proposal introduced by the state’s governor Tim Walz goes ahead.
“The new policies will ensure reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity in Minnesota,” Walz says.
Environmental organizations and student advocates cheered the move. Republicans and some utility companies said it would raise energy prices for consumers and put too much pressure on an energy system that so far hasn’t proved to be reliable.
“Renewable resources are not available all the time. You know the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow 24/7,” said Joni Livingston of Missouri River Energy Services, which provides electricity in 25 communities around Minnesota.
Despite the headline, the proposal appears to be for clean electricity alone, not all energy.
The proposal from Walz comes as U.S. Democrats call for more urgent action to combat climate change.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Green New Deal resolution last month calling for sweeping reforms in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Senate Democrats are “preparing a counteroffensive” to make combating climate change a central issue of their 2020 campaigns.
Meanwhile, Washington governor Jay Inslee, who announced his bid for president in 2020 last week, has called President Trump’s view of wind power and other environmentally friendly initiatives “moronic” and “narrow-minded.’