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Renewable Energy Research at U of MN is Threatened

March 5, 2012Patrick NunnallyPlanning, SustainabilityComments Off

The Minnesota Senate is considering a bill that would redirect funding away from renewable energy broadly speaking and limit research to projects in renewable electricity (no more research on renewable transportation fuels, conservation, or energy efficiency).  Learn more at this Action Alert.

What has this got to do with rivers and a sustainable Mississippi River?  The energy/water nexus is in and of itself very powerful:  one of the largest uses of water in Minnesota is cooling power plants, for example.  Conservation and energy efficiency can reduce our reliance on these plants, thereby perhaps freeing water for other uses.

Furthermore, the mercury pollution that is part of the impairment of so many of Minnesota’s lakes and streams gets here as airborne pollution from upwind power plants.  Again, better energy conservation standards will ultimately mean less mercury in the lakes and rivers and a big step toward the Clean Water Act’s goal of “swimmable, fishable waters” across the country.

As John Muir said (and I paraphrase) “when you take hold of any part of the world, you find that it’s connected to all the other parts.”  Look again at the Action Alert and help preserve all aspects of renewable energy research in the state.

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