State gets good marks on move toward greener energyby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Several national environmental groups issued a report card Thursday on efforts among Midwestern states to move toward greener energy.
Minnesota gets high marks for its progress on electric energy efficiency and its ambitious renewable energy goals.
Nancy Lange from the Midwest office of the Izaak Walton League says Minnesota's weak spots are on its highways.
"Reducing vehicle miles traveled for example in Minnesota, we're a metro area that's growing, we need to address those," said Lange.
She added the state should promote cleaner biofuels and a low-carbon fuel standard.
The report compares goals set by Midwestern governors in 2007 with actual achievements. Grades for the region range from A-minus for updated building codes to D for policies to reduce greenhouse gases.
The report suggests Minnesotans should work on reducing the miles they drive.
Charles Griffith, with The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, says higher gas prices are a good reminder that imported fuels contribute little to the state's economy.
"If we can develop more robust policies to grow our own fuels and be more efficient with those fuels, etc, we have the opportunity to provide a buffer for higher gas prices in the future as well as grow our economy as opposed to shrink our economy," Griffith said.
The report looks at energy conservation and renewable efforts in 10 Midwestern states. The report concludes Midwestern states rank among the top 10 job-creating states in several clean energy sectors. Minnesota ranked high in clean energy and environmentally friendly production.