Your Green Life: "Green Jobs Task Force"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

In these bad economic times the state of Minnesota has been looking for bright spots wherever it can.

In 2008, Governor Pawlenty formed a green task force to create sustainable jobs in Minnesota.

Now with new federal stimulus money in the budget, the Northland is hoping to get a slice for our green economy.

Meteorologist Shannon Murphy explains in, "Your Green Life."

"It's kind of a green industrial revolution," was how State Senator Ellen Anderson described the push for going green.

Many are hoping it's a revolution that will kick–start the economy.

The Minnesota Green Jobs Task Force is working on a plan to renovate public buildings and help home and business owners cut costs by becoming more energy efficient.

"If you can help a business save money, then that retains the jobs. You put a bunch of people to work fixing up those buildings and you save the city or the county, or the school district money because their energy bills are lower," said Anderson.

Funding comes from the Federal stimulus package, utility conservation dollars, and money from the Clean Water Constitutional Amendment that was passed by voters last November.

"We are going to have very strict accountability for this money, and the federal government requires it, and the legislature is also going to require it," said Anderson.

The results will be measured by how much energy is being saved and the number of jobs created or retained in the state.

So far the task force is estimating the creation of seventy–thousand Minnesota jobs.

The phrase made famous by Jerry McGuire says it best, "Show me the money!"

And if Duluth does get their cut, "What we would like to do is build a revolving loan fund that could be made accessible to average Duluthians so that they could do weatherization and air–sealing work and save enough money each month from their utility bills to pay back the loan they took out and maybe have enough left over to keep a little something in their pockets," stated Tony Cuneo of the Duluth City Council. "We need to train a lot of energy auditors. We need to train a lot of weatherization and air sealing construction crews and construction experts."

All of this will help our community green up.

For the Northland's NewsCenter, I'm meteorologist Shannon Murphy.

A statewide audit of all public buildings has already been completed, and renovations are going to start with buildings that are said to be the largest energy hogs.