Environment and Energy Update - April 18, 2011

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Coal Moratorium Repeal Bill Passed Off Senate Floor

SF86, authored by Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont), was passed off the Senate floor on Thursday, April 14, on a bi-partisan 42 –18 vote. Sens. Marty, Torres Ray, and Dibble each offered amendments to the bill, all of which failed. The bill repeals the ban on new electric generation facilities or contracts with electric energy providers that would lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions. The ban was enacted as part of the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act. The companion bill, HF72, authored by Rep. Michael Beard (R-Shakopee), awaits action on the floor of the House. In comments Thursday, Gov. Dayton said he opposed the measure but he stopped short of threatening a veto.

Dayton Issues Executive Orders on Energy and Environment

In another indication that Gov. Dayton intends to utilize his executive powers via executive orders to a greater degree than his predecessors, on April 8, the Governor issued three executive orders dealing with energy and the environment. Executive Order 11-12 directs state agencies to identify and make cost effective energy improvements in state facilities and sets a goal of a 20% reduction in state energy consumption. The state owns approximately 30 million square feet of space and new efficiencies resulting from the executive order are expected to result in millions of dollars in annual savings to the state. This new executive order also provides technical support to local governments and school districts to make their own energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in their buildings.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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