Oregon appears ready to pass legislation that will require its investor-owned utilities to phase out coal entirely by 2030 and require at least 50% renewable energy by 2040. The utilities are supporting this legislation, because they know a more stringent ballot initiative would likely pass easily.
There is similar broad public support for moving away from coal and stepping up renewables in Minnesota, but the current legislature will not follow Oregon's lead. There is, however, no reason the Dayton/Smith Administration cannot adopt these goals as executive branch policy, similar to what California Governor Jerry Brown did last year. Minnesota needs to reclaim its leadership on energy policy and it will take bold, courageous actions to accomplish that.