ST. PAUL -- Minnesota leads the nation in developing renewable fuel sources and now must "raise the bar again," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday in unveiling a host of new energy proposals.
The initiatives, which received a friendly reception from many in the Legislature's newly elected Democratic majority, include an emphasis on promoting ethanol and other alternative fuels, cutting the state's energy consumption and addressing global warming concerns.
"When it comes to energy, let's not wait until the future," Pawlenty said in a speech at the Midwest Ag-Energy Network Summit in St. Paul. "Let's create our own future."
Pawlenty's Next Generation Energy Initiative calls for:
- Increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
- Conserving energy and reducing the use of fossil fuels.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon.
In his speech to energy and agriculture officials and some state lawmakers, Pawlenty said Minnesota should see that 25 percent of electricity used in the state comes from renewable resources by 2025. The Republican governor stopped short of calling for a mandate, which energy companies oppose, but said his proposal includes financial penalties for firms that don't comply.
"It does have some teeth," Pawlenty said during a later forum with Capitol reporters.
Already the state had a goal of 10 percent renewable electricity by 2015.
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Forum Communications' Don Davis contributed to this story.