In Minnesota, Al Gore finds reasons for optimism in confronting the climate crisis

"The grassroots community here in Minnesota is that great example."

Hey, it's Cory Hepola
August 05, 2019 - 10:16 am
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Former Vice President Al Gore has never been one to downplay the challenge of confronting climate change, but when it comes to what’s happening in Minnesota, he sees reasons for optimism.

“The good news is that people are mobilizing. The grassroots community here in Minnesota is a great example, they are very committed, very energetic, very productive,” he told 830 WCCO host Cory Hepola in an one-on-one interview on Friday. 

Gore was in Minneapolis last week to train—and motivate—activists confronting climate change as part of his Climate Reality Project. Other speakers included Governor Tim Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman, a Minnesota native. 

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Gore said “The best is yet to come,” for Minnesota, and pointed to the fact that the state already gets 25% of its electricity from renewable sources, substantial job growth in the wind and solar energy sectors, as well as Xcel Energy’s plan to close its two remaining coal plants by 2030.  

Xcel’s plan relies in part on a move to solar, which is growing in the state despite the notoriously long winters. And, as Gore noted, it’s not just Xcel: Minnesota leads the country in solar mini-gardens.

“There's not that much sun in the winter, but there's a lot in the summer,” he said. 

Listen to his full interview with Cory Hepola here: 

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