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Letter: Rep. Juhnke responds to letter

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I would like to respond to the recent letter questioning my commitment to expanding alternative energy sources, specifically with regard to nuclear power.

First and foremost, let me tell you the many things I have done to promote alternative energy. As chair of the Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Finance Committee, I authored legislation to create a nation-leading 20 percent biodiesel requirement as well as the 25 x 25 renewable energy goal.

I also helped strengthen our commitment to biomass, cellulosic and hydrogen fuel options. The last two sessions have been the most productive ever with regard to energy; these initiatives will keep Minnesota in the forefront in the production and use of alternative energy, create jobs and strengthen our rural economy.

Let me also clear up some misconceptions. It is simply not true that I voted to prohibit the Public Utilities Commission from discussing nuclear energy. Legislation has never been considered to limit their free speech -- they can discuss whatever they want.

However, I did vote to set up a working group that would bring everyone to the table to discuss the future of nuclear energy in our state.

As we work to address our growing energy needs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will be important to consider every possible energy source available to us. Nuclear energy is one component of this. Once we resolve the storage and waste issues associated with nuclear power, it could end up becoming one of our greener options.

Rep. Al Juhnke

Willmar

Chair, House Agriculture and Veterans Affairs Committee

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