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Walz touts clean energy jobs amid uncertain nuclear future via AP

By Steve Karnowski

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley said Monday that economics suggest nuclear power won’t be part of Minnesota’s energy mix if the state adopts the governor’s goal of getting 100 percent of its energy from carbon-free sources by 2050.

Walz and Kelley made the remarks at a news conference that they held to celebrate the growth in clean energy jobs in Minnesota.

“We are outpacing other states,” the governor said. “Now is the time for Minnesota to seize the momentum.”

The governor set the ambitious carbon-free goal last month in hopes of building on the success of Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act, which passed in 2007 and was signed into law by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. That law required Minnesota utilities to get at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The rapid growth of wind and solar power helped the state largely achieve that goal two years ago.

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Walz endorsed Kelley’s statements and added he wants to see a solution to long-term nuclear waste storage, noting that Xcel stores spent fuel in above-ground casks next to the small reservation of the Prairie Island Dakota tribe because the federal government has failed to establish a permanent disposal site.

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