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Energy Committee OKs RES

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Minnesota is one step closer to an official Renewable Energy Standard today after the Senate Energy Committee moved S.F. 4 out of committee and onto the Senate floor (at time of publishing, bill was not yet updated in the Senate system). This post follows my coverage of the RES/REO discussions.

The bill is different than anticipated - Loon Commons has a brief comment about it.

It looks like Xcel will continue to be held to a different reqirement - 30% of all power by 2025 and other utilities will have a standard of 25% by 2025.

You can watch the 36 minute committee hearing online via the klunky Senate system. Look for the row for Thursday, 1 Feb, 2007.

Chair Prettner Solon noted that the stakeholder group came to a strong agreement.

What came out of this, with the stakeholders that were involved, with the exception of one municipal utility who is not able to support this, have agreed on the language and have agreed that they will not offer amendments; they will not lobby against it; and that they will advocate for this position in the other body also.

I'm hoping that we have a good solid bill that we can move foward. And I thank you all.

Judging from the post at Loon Commons, I'm curious if they left some environmental groups behind also. Given the sudden change in the targets and dates, I would not be surprised if some environmental orgs were disappointed.

There was an interesting situation in the committee where Senator Vandeveer (first term Republican from District 42) attempted to offer an amendment that would increase the standard by 1% in 2017 (or 2018, I forget). He offered little justification for an amendment which clearly was unneeded and against the spirit of the entire process that far.

In the end, Senator Anderson and Senator Dibble prevailed upon him to withdraw the amendment and he complied. I figured out why they have these committee meetings during the day - I think they are trying to rival drama on TV.

Nonetheless, we appear to be heading to a better outcome than we hoped 8 months ago. I will link to the bill as soon as it is available and provide more details.