Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza, shown during a recent campaign visit to Bemidji, was pushing his rural jobs agenda statewide last week. Pioneer Photo/ Brad Swenson

Entenza pushes green jobs for Minnesota

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/0806/201005220522-entenza.jpg?itok=9kYBqPFx
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Entenza pushes green jobs for Minnesota
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Rural Minnesota needs to grow its economy through green jobs and strong state support for community public services, says Matt Entenza, Democratic candidate for governor.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"Once again, the budget was balanced on the backs of rural communities," the former House minority leader said in a telephone interview Thursday.

The 2010 Legislature adjourned Monday after a special session in which most of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotments of last summer were ratified, including a $300 million cut to state aid to cities.

"We have to have a jobs plan for Minnesota so that we can make sure that rural Minnesota communities get the resources for police and fire and snowplowing," Entenza said.

He was in Bemidji a week ago to talk about his jobs plan and the damage caused by cutting Local Government Aid to cities for public services.

"Bemidji has had a 44.9 percent (inflation adjusted) reduction in Local Government Aid," Entenza said. "It's just amazing -- I didn't know it was that bad. Citing Minnesota 2020 numbers ... Bemidji in 2002 got almost $5.2 million, inflation adjusted, and now it's down to $2.9 million."

Across Minnesota, small cities are dropping their police forces to have protection by the county sheriff, he said. Brainerd is looking at ending its full-time fire department in favor of about a half dozen full-time firefighters and few hourly paid firefighters, and the rest volunteer. Cass Lake a year ago ended its police in favor of the county sheriff's protection.

"What Cass Lake has done is happening all over the state," he said. "At the same time that Bemidji, Brainerd and Cass Lake and others are being forced to roll back services, Edina, Eden Prairie and Eagan have not seen their budgets cut 45 percent the way Bemidji's has."

Entenza faces an Aug. 10 primary gubernatorial battle with DFL-endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.

He notes that Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, the Republican-endorsed candidate, voted to cut an additional $250 million in LGA on top of Pawlenty's unallotments.

"We have to have a governor who understands we have to have equity," said Entenza, a Minneapolis lawyer and Worthington native. "If there's going to be shared sacrifice, it actually has to be shared. If you have improvements, those should be shared as well. Instead, the budget's balanced on the backs of rural communities."

His rural jobs program would work well for Bemidji, he said. "My plan is to reinvest the dollars we're now spending on energy, $10 billion a year we spend on electricity, heating, cooling, into refitting and improving our public and private buildings."

Doing so could create 50,000 jobs, he said. Construction jobs in the region would be created and money would be saved with new windows, new roofs, new installation and new lighting.

In brief, his plan would:

E Create tens of thousands of jobs leveraging clean energy sources that never run out, making the state and nation more secure in the process.

E Reinvest the energy dollars "we keep here in our people and our state, with the potential to create many more thousands of jobs."

E Modernize the way business development is encouraged.

E Turn government into a catalyst for private sector innovation that creates shared prosperity for all.

Entenza believes his plan can be implemented without offering tax credits by having the Public Utilities Commission redirect utilities as to where to spend their energy money.

"Minnesota's got no oil, no coal, no natural gas," Entenza said. "Instead of paying for that and have the money leave the state and go to a foreign dictator, we should pay ourselves."

Pawlenty's plan has been "to cut our way to greatness," Entenza said. "We have to grow our way to greatness.

"If we could, then Mississippi would be leading the nation in nearly every measure," he added. "It does not -- nonetheless, Tom Emmer wants to turn Minnesota into a cold Mississippi. Fortunately, we don't live in Tom Emmer's Minnesota."

Besides refitting and improving buildings, Entenza says Minnesotans need to pay themselves for energy. "That means wind, solar and the next generation of biomass. And that means manufacturing jobs. We should be using wood pulp-based biomass to make liquid fuels."

Facilities could be co-located by paper mills, he said. And Iowa has five large wind turbine manufacturing facilities when it ramped up its wind industry. "We can get those as well. The Beltrami County area is the perfect area for that sort manufacturing because you're the transportation hub for the area."

Also, with a slagging timber industry, wood pulp could be used as a biomass for a new generation of ethanol, he said, making that viable for the Bemidji area.

Entenza says people are looking for people with ideas, not political insiders. After leaving the Legislature, he formed the progressive think tank Minnesota 2020 which has been offering public policy ideas.

Rural Minnesota needs to grow its economy through green jobs and strong state support for community public services, says Matt Entenza, Democratic candidate for governor.

"Once again, the budget was balanced on the backs of rural communities," the former House minority leader said in a telephone interview Thursday.

The 2010 Legislature adjourned Monday after a special session in which most of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotments of last summer were ratified, including a $300 million cut to state aid to cities.

"We have to have a jobs plan for Minnesota so that we can make sure that rural Minnesota communities get the resources for police and fire and snowplowing," Entenza said.

He was in Bemidji a week ago to talk about his jobs plan and the damage caused by cutting Local Government Aid to cities for public services.

"Bemidji has had a 44.9 percent (inflation adjusted) reduction in Local Government Aid," Entenza said. "It's just amazing -- I didn't know it was that bad. Citing Minnesota 2020 numbers ... Bemidji in 2002 got almost $5.2 million, inflation adjusted, and now it's down to $2.9 million."

Across Minnesota, small cities are dropping their police forces to have protection by the county sheriff, he said. Brainerd is looking at ending its full-time fire department in favor of about a half dozen full-time firefighters and few hourly paid firefighters, and the rest volunteer. Cass Lake a year ago ended its police in favor of the county sheriff's protection.

"What Cass Lake has done is happening all over the state," he said. "At the same time that Bemidji, Brainerd and Cass Lake and others are being forced to roll back services, Edina, Eden Prairie and Eagan have not seen their budgets cut 45 percent the way Bemidji's has."

Entenza faces an Aug. 10 primary gubernatorial battle with DFL-endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.

He notes that Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, the Republican-endorsed candidate, voted to cut an additional $250 million in LGA on top of Pawlenty's unallotments.

"We have to have a governor who understands we have to have equity," said Entenza, a Minneapolis lawyer and Worthington native. "If there's going to be shared sacrifice, it actually has to be shared. If you have improvements, those should be shared as well. Instead, the budget's balanced on the backs of rural communities."

His rural jobs program would work well for Bemidji, he said. "My plan is to reinvest the dollars we're now spending on energy, $10 billion a year we spend on electricity, heating, cooling, into refitting and improving our public and private buildings."

Doing so could create 50,000 jobs, he said. Construction jobs in the region would be created and money would be saved with new windows, new roofs, new installation and new lighting.

In brief, his plan would:

- Create tens of thousands of jobs leveraging clean energy sources that never run out, making the state and nation more secure in the process.

- Reinvest the energy dollars "we keep here in our people and our state, with the potential to create many more thousands of jobs."

- Modernize the way business development is encouraged.

- Turn government into a catalyst for private sector innovation that creates shared prosperity for all.

Entenza believes his plan can be implemented without offering tax credits by having the Public Utilities Commission redirect utilities as to where to spend their energy money.

"Minnesota's got no oil, no coal, no natural gas," Entenza said. "Instead of paying for that and have the money leave the state and go to a foreign dictator, we should pay ourselves."

Pawlenty's plan has been "to cut our way to greatness," Entenza said. "We have to grow our way to greatness.

"If we could, then Mississippi would be leading the nation in nearly every measure," he added. "It does not -- nonetheless, Tom Emmer wants to turn Minnesota into a cold Mississippi. Fortunately, we don't live in Tom Emmer's Minnesota."

Besides refitting and improving buildings, Entenza says Minnesotans need to pay themselves for energy. "That means wind, solar and the next generation of biomass. And that means manufacturing jobs. We should be using wood pulp-based biomass to make liquid fuels."

Facilities could be co-located by paper mills, he said. And Iowa has five large wind turbine manufacturing facilities when it ramped up its wind industry. "We can get those as well. The Beltrami County area is the perfect area for that sort manufacturing because you're the transportation hub for the area."

Also, with a slagging timber industry, wood pulp could be used as a biomass for a new generation of ethanol, he said, making that viable for the Bemidji area.

Entenza says people are looking for people with ideas, not political insiders. After leaving the Legislature, he formed the progressive think tank Minnesota 2020 which has been offering public policy ideas.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness