Chris Wright
for Governor

Author Aldous Huxley said in 1927, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Huxley was wrong. Facts DO cease to exist when you profit from maintaining the status quo. Like Exxon in 1979 when they discovered their products were causing global warming. What did they do? They promoted global warming denial.

Exxon is like the guy in the joke who says, “What if global warming is a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?” Obviously “nothing” is our children, grandchildren, future generations and the survival of the planet. Endangering our posterity is not an option. We will not go silently into the night. And anyone who puts the profits of the few above the survival of humanity has a broken moral compass. Period!

Climate scientists have calculated we can only pollute another 270 Giga-tons (GtC) of green-house gases from now on to stay within 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avert planetary catastrophe.

Therefore, we must boldly reduce at 3-percent per year to reach zero green-house gas emissions by 2050. At our present rate we will begin to surpass the 270GtC by 2030 forcing us to reduce at 20-percent per year, zero by 2035; an impossible feat. So, there’s no time to lose.

To get us started I propose a simple law that says, “All new electrical power generation shall be renewable.”

This alarming crisis can only be averted by government action. We cannot wait for carbon-tax incentives or the marketplace to lower the cost of solar panels, wind turbines, and electrical storage before we begin toward the path to the renewable future. This is why I propose a series of mandates to achieve this goal.

Constructing a renewable infrastructure is not a sacrifice; it is an investment that will pay for itself in local self-reliance, thousands of good paying jobs, energy savings, lower energy prices, and better health.

It may seem like achieving a political miracle, but we have no other choice. In fact, it doesn’t take a miracle if we all come together to address our common interests. When we do, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We are morally obligated to begin immediately to a sustainable low-cost energy future. I think Minnesota is ready to roll up its sleeves. Let’s get growing.

(1) All Electric America-A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future by S. David Freeman and Leah Y. Parks

(2)   Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

Addressing Climate Change

A Plan to make Minnesota Energy Independent

As a nation we have taken extraordinary action on a global scale. We built the Interstate Defense Highway System; we decided to go the moon and got there; when tyranny threatened the world we retooled our nation’s industrial infrastructure and in the space of five years built tanks, planes, and ships to win the Second World War, a task far more challenging than building a renewable energy infrastructure.

This plan is put forth like many laws to mandate change and ban pollution.  Please note that this plan outlines timetables to meet our goals and suggests mandates that will require adjustment.

The major party spoilers of the environment don't have a plan, but here's mine.

Green House Gas (GHG) Reductions and Renewable Energy by 2050 Act (Draft Proposal)

  1. Prohibition: No new fossil-fuel related construction or nuclear power plants shall be allowed from the passage of this act. All new electrical power generation shall be renewable.
  2. Green House Gas (GHG) Reductions Mandated

(a)     GHG Emissions shall be reduced 3% each year until emissions reach zero by the year 2050.

(b)   A $300 per ton penalty shall be imposed on any amount of GHG’s emitted above the required reduction, to be monitored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and enforced by Minnesota Department of Revenue. Offenders are prohibited from passing on the cost of penalties to consumers.

(c)    This law shall apply to the electric power industry, natural gas utilities, petroleum products, steel producers, cement production, architecture and the transportation sector.

(d)   All new construction for homes and buildings shall be GHG-free and existing buildings retrofitted to zero GHG at the time of sale or within fifteen years.

(e)    The state shall provide tax incentives for weatherization of buildings, retrofitting of homes with electric heat pumps, installation of solar panels and/or wind generators, smart-grid technology, and storage systems.

  1. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in conjunction with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shall develop standards for both publicly and privately owned electric, natural gas suppliers, and refineries to meet the following requirements:
  • 30% GHG-free by 2025
  • 60% GHG-free by 2035
  • 100% GHG-free by 2050
  1. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shall develop standards for the production of steel and cementitious materials to meet the following requirements:
  • 30% GHG-free by 2025
  • 60% GHG-free by 2035
  • 100% GHG-free by 2050
  1. Transportation Sector Transformation by 2050

(a) Railroads

(i)  Every railroad doing business in Minnesota shall draft a detailed plan for converting to electricity within two years and submit it to the Department of Transportation for approval.

(ii)  The state shall provide government loan guarantees for the financing and implementation of the approved plans.

(iii)  The electrification of railroads operating in Minnesota shall be initiated within ten years and completed within twenty years or the railroad will be charged a $300/ton GHG fee on all GHG’s emitted after that date.

(iv)  All railroads shall purchase approved biomass fuels whenever supplies exist until full electrification is achieved.

(b) Motor Vehicles

(i)  All manufacturers of major auto, truck, and buses shall reduce GHG emissions of vehicles by 3% each year, through a combination of improvements in mileage and lower GHG emissions.

(ii)  All motor vehicle manufacturers shall transition to zero-emission vehicles according to the same timetable as the energy suppliers—30% of all new sales by 2025, 60% by 2035, and 100% by 2050. (Some exceptions may apply but all vehicles must use non-greenhouse gas emitting fuels.)

(c) Airplanes and Ships

(i)  All airline and ship manufacturers shall draft a detailed plan for converting to renewable sources within twenty years and submit it to the Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Commerce-Division of Energy Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

(ii)  All airlines and shipping shall purchase approved biomass fuels whenever supplies exist.

  1. The State of Minnesota shall create a Minnesota Green Bank, which provides loan guarantees for the financing of railroad electrification, oil refinery conversion and for the construction of renewable electricity power plants that have long-term contracts with electric distribution utilities that are ratepayer-funded.
  2. Tax Credits for Zero-GHG Emission Consumer Products

(a)  A permanent 20% tax credit is hereby enacted for electric heat pumps and investment in energy efficiency in homes and commercial businesses.

(b)  A five-year 20% tax credit for zero-emission motor vehicles is hereby enacted to speed development of a mass market.

  1. Oil Refineries to Convert to Biomass Gasification Fuels

(a)  Every oil refinery doing business in Minnesota shall draft a detailed plan for converting to biomass gasification fuels within two years and submit it to the Minnesota Department of Commerce-Division of Energy Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

(b)  The state shall provide government loan guarantees for the financing and implementation of the approved plans.

(c)  Biomass gasification products shall include Synthesis Gas (syngas) as a suitable substitute for natural gas, gasoline, diesel products and jet fuel as priorities for production.

  1. Renewable Energy Storage

(a)  All existing and new construction of solar, wind and water power shall be accompanied by suitable storage.  (ex. Battery Storage) to provide a constant and reliable level of power to the grid.

(b)  Minnesota Department of Commerce-Weights and Measures Division shall regulate the accuracy of renewable energy supplied for transportation purposes. 

  1. GHG-Free Zones

(a) Electrical GHG-Free

(i)  Public and private electrical utilities shall report to the Minnesota Department of Commerce for inspection of residential and commercial zones that are GHG compliant for efficiency and renewable energy.

(ii)  The Commerce Department shall establish GHG electrical compliance zones with priority given to low-income zones that contain both residential and commercial properties for GHG abatement.

(iii)  Commercial and Residential property owners shall be considered GHG-free after passing inspection for Efficiency Standards (define) including weatherization efficiency, properly installed and operating Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) or Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), air conditioning, furnace, water heater, can prove their source of electrical power and heating fuels are renewable.

(b)  Natural Gas/Methane GHG-Free

(i)  Public and private suppliers of natural gas shall be considered GHG-Free after conversion to bio-natural gas or SynGas substitutes derived from biomass.

(ii)  The Minnesota Department of Commerce-Division of Energy Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shall enforce the timetable of conversion and inspection.

  1. Production of Cementitious materials

(a)  Every cement manufacturer doing business in Minnesota shall draft a detailed plan for converting to carbon neutral products within two years and submit it to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

(b)  The state shall provide government loan guarantees for the financing and implementation of the approved plans.

  1. Metal Production

(a)  Every metal manufacturer doing business in Minnesota shall draft a detailed plan for converting to carbon neutral production within two years and submit it to the Minnesota Department of Commerce-Division of Energy Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

(b)  The state shall provide government loan guarantees for the financing and implementation of the approved plans.

  1. Municipal Solid Waste Disposal

(a)  All municipalities shall implement approved GHG reducing recycling, composting, and waste-prevention projects.

(b)  The remaining solid waste, including sewage sludge, shall be processed via an approved biomass gasification solid waste disposal apparatus that converts all the remaining cementitious materials and metals into reusable products and which removes toxic waste contaminants before allowing the inert materials to be landfilled at an approved site. (Ex. See Patent US3729298 Solid Refuse Disposal Process and Apparatus, April 24, 1973, John E. Anderson)

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