Some economic plans are win-wins, or even triple wins, but when was the last time you heard of a win-win-win-win-win-win plan? The Minnesota State Auditor, Rebecca Otto (D), who declared her candidancy for governor today, has one.
Being an auditor, she doesn’t shy away from taking a good hard look at how climate change – think ever more extreme floods, wildfires, droughts and storms - is costing communities bigtime, draining community budgets meant for boosting business and creating jobs. She’s also saying what few other politicians have the courage to say: “The impact of climate change is hitting far sooner and much closer to home than many of us ever imagined, and we have a moral obligation to protect our children.”
How does she plan to balance the books? Make fossil fuel companies pay for the climate changing and health hazardous pollution their profitable products create, and pour that money back into Minnesota communities, most of it directly to the taxpayers – an estimated $600 annually to every resident. But 25% of the revenues would go into accelerating the growth of the increasingly profitable clean energy industry, dominated by ever cheaper wind and solar power. (Natural gas as clean energy? Nah. The only people who really think that fossil fuel is clean are the ones who profit from it.)
Traveling the state for 12 years, she heard a main message from both red and blue voters: start solving problems again. In a state that has seen quality job losses and subsequent depopulation, her Minnesota-Powered Plan would position Minnesota to become a clean energy leader, growing its economy by billions of dollars.
The wins? The resulting increased demand for clean energy would increase wages, drive down living expenses, improve Minnesotans' health, clean up our environment, provide access to clean power, and rejuvenate Main Streets as it creates thousands of new local small businesses. Basically, the plan will grow the private economy and help to usher in a new era of statewide prosperity, as the state takes charge of its own energy, a move that auditor Rebecca Otto thinks “is now economically one of the smartest things we can do as a state.”
Now when will the rest of our state level US politicians get with The Plan?