FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Joel Hanson, Communications Director
[email protected]; 507-459-0447
Dr. Scott Jensen releases 10-point energy plan to lower utility costs & increase reliability
Disastrous energy polices from Walz causing high Inflation & warnings of rolling blackouts
(St. Paul, MN) – Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) released a series of policies to meet the needs of Minnesotans being punished by a lack of planning and disastrous policy decisions of the Gov. Tim Walz Administration. Jensen unveiled the package amidst warnings in the last several weeks of rolling brownouts and blackouts being faced by citizens in western Minnesota, as well as skyrocketing energy bills.
“Basic things we took for granted before Tim Walz took office like turning on their lights, affordable groceries and safe streets are being extremely challenged on a daily basis,” Jensen said. “In addition, energy is driving up the cost of living and the leading cause of high inflation, of which my plan will directly combat.”
Jensen said he would prepare a series of executive actions, appointments and drafted proposed legislation to be enacted upon taking office, including the following:
- Lift the moratorium on the ability to build any additional nuclear plants. Current law bans permitting or allowance of new nuclear facilities, which are environmentally clean and emit much less waste than previous plants. New technology for Generation IV mini-nuclear plants have on-site waste recycling and safeguards. Small modular reactor technology is actionable right now and warrants immediate consideration.
- Suspend and repeal the new California based car mandates that will increase the price of cars, task the already overburdened electrical grid, and make Minnesota uncompetitive.
- Issue an executive order to the Departments of Commerce and Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to cooperate with private sector energy providers to identify regulations, permits and licenses that inhibit the ability to produce, procure and distribute energy and report within 90 days so the legislature can expedite and pass needed legislation before the conclusion of the 2023 session. Order the Commissioner of Commerce to reorganize the Department with experts who understand base load power, supply and demand of energy, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) energy grid and bring professional expertise to the department instead of political appointees from special interest groups. This also would include gubernatorial screening and appointments to the Public Utilities Commission.
- Order a Department of Commerce assessment and determination of the retirement of base load power sources in Minnesota, while consulting and collaborating with power companies. Currently, power plants in Becker, Oak Park Heights, and other locations around the state are scheduled to close in this decade, thereby reducing available power, forcing the construction of new and expensive transmission lines and laying off hundreds of workers while devastating those community’s workforces and tax base. Jensen said he questioned if it makes any sense to shutter incumbent power plants when there is a need for electrical power in the state and whether the Walz Administration’s bullying of alternative energy mandates played a role in the plant closures.
- Immediately tap the Renewable Development Fund (RDF) for projects to create Minnesota-based energy sources. The fund is separate from the general fund, contains $50 million to $100 million and is available for the legislature and governor to utilize for energy needs of which are contained in Jensen’s plan.
- Finishing the hydro turbine in Granite Falls and investigation into utilization of clean hydro in other similar, usable Minnesota waterways. Hydro power has received broad, bipartisan support in Minnesota.
- Study and develop Advanced Energy Storage – such as Hydrogen (H2), NH3 (ammonia) and pumped hydro. When paired with wind, which is a resource that is abundant at night and consumption is at its lowest, this can be a game changer for energy. It can also be paired with nuclear so that we are never wasting energy or not producing at full capacity. This would also include research and development for H2 fuel cell technology for transportation uses.
- Grid modernization including smart grids and advanced microgrids for use in remote and rural locations.
- Public-private partnerships to develop additional energy sources that make sense, including continued partnerships for wind and solar development, wood pellet energy from unused wood residual products in northern Minnesota and development of methane digesters in rural Minnesota to capture and produce energy. All sources should undergo a cost-benefit analysis and pass streamlined, but rigorous environmental reviews.
- After utilization of needed funds for energy sources, rebate and credit excess Renewable Development Fund (RDF) dollars to rate payers to combat high energy prices Minnesotans are paying.
Jensen said that rolling blackouts are very possible for western Minnesota, with documented warnings from experts, leading to families, farmers and businesses scurrying to find generators so livestock don’t suffocate to death and businesses can operate without massive disruptions. Blackouts can impact individuals needing home health equipment like oxygen pumps to operation of their lights, fans and air conditioning.
“It’s easy for Tim Walz to push for unrealistic energy ideas until Minnesotans have their lights shut off. I want to apply something that is rarely utilized in state government: common sense,” Jensen concluded. “We cannot follow the Walz policy of hapless inaction, lack of planning, forced and unrealistic mandates, shuttering power plants and incompetent bureaucracy that has led to this crisis. I will lead and I will act.”
For more information, please visit https://drscottjensen.com/energy/.