Monday, April 02, 2007

LIVEBLOG: Connecting with Government

Sen. Klobuchar has been introduced, she will be speaking on Environment and global climate change. Also in attendance is Vice President Mondale, and I did have a moment to visit briefly with famed STRIB Columnist Jim Klobuchar.

The Senator is taking a moment to review the successes of the congressional session to date, highlighting the minimum wage increase and the passing of the 9/11 commission recommendations. She shared several humorous anecdotes as her and her family make the adjustment to Beltway lifestyle.

We begin:

A Universe of Opportunities: Technology and innovations will be the key to solving our climate crisis.

Science of climate change report concluded that changes in climate are effecting biological processes. Early reports will indicate that coastlines are experiencing rising sea levels.

Weather related economic damages have increased almost $300 Billion worldwide.

This issue has left the scientists and science labs and into the conversations of every day individuals. There is an outpouring of support for change. Even business leaders are stepping forward and demanding actions seeking tangible results.

New leadership against the fight of global warming, specifically the 2025 legislation. Governor's from 5 Western states are working together.

Taking Action:
- Establish a 'Cap and Trade' system
- Create a Carbon Counter
- Strengthen energy efficiency and conservation efforts
- Promote greater vehicle efficiency
- Promote renewable energy
- Harness the potential of the agriculture sector to develop renewable energy
- Lead the International community

(Franken is here)

Ethanol has proven to be one of the great successes in Minnesota's economy.

(Tom from Sky Blue Waters is here. Also Michael Brodkorb from MDE, along with Jeff Fecke from BotML/MN Monitor)

The address has concluded. Very informative and filled with specifics. I am still one of those who think we should promote energy efficiency and conservation because it is the right thing to do, not necessarily spend time arguing whether Global Climate change is real, or just a cyclical weather pattern we are experiencing as our planet evolves. The Center, along with Larry Jacobs, are now seated at center stage, away from the podium to have a 'conversation' and take questions from the audience.

Via Jeff:
12:47--Says that according to Xcel, energy efficiency can be achieved with no rate increase. Also notes that DuPont saved billions by reducing greenhouse emissions. And that unchecked global warming would have devastating effects to the economy.
Amy states she is a big fan of allowing the states to act, but that we need Federal standards as well. Recognizes growth in regional mass transit and pumps commuter rail, specifically the North Star.

Question on the competition that bio fuels will have on the food supply: As we get more and more refined in our technology, we will get better at increasing output. We need to go down this road smartly and gradually. We need to be aware of the environmental effects. We need to build on those as we move on to the next stage. So many of our farmers have diversified.

When asked what people can do now, the Senator mentions the rally on April 14 (Noon - 4:00) at the Captol.

I'll have some closing remarks later this afternoon.


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