Lawmaker Helps Shape Energy Policy

A Minnesota legislator leading a group of up to 50 colleagues from across the country is helping shape federal energy policy.

White House officials named Rep. Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch, chairman of a task force of state lawmakers set up to provide input for clean-energy issues to President Barack Obama and U.S. senators. The emphasis will be on providing what is known as “green jobs.”

The committee is heavy with Democrats, Kalin said, because the White House only wanted green-job supporters on the committee. That ruled out many conservative Republicans, and there are only a few moderate Republicans in legislatures, Kalin added.

“We want folks who get (that) it is going to be a clean-tech economy,” Kalin said.

Most meetings, which will be closed to the public, will be via computer or telephone. However, Kalin hopes for a Washington meeting of all committee members late in October.

The committee’s focus will be on promoting legislation that creates the most possible green jobs, Kalin said.