by DeLaSalle | | Headlines

Three dozen Islanders learned a powerful lesson in democracy as they lobbied Governor Mark Dayton and state lawmakers to increase clean energy in Minnesota.

“I want my representatives to know that this issue matters to the next generation,” Lillie McAdams ‘15 said about her experience at the Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs’ Day at the Capitol on Monday, February 2.

DeLaSalle students joined hundreds of other students from across the state in pressing lawmakers to improve Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard to 40 percent by 2030. A law passed in 2007 already requires 25 percent of energy come from renewable sources – like wind and solar energy – by 2025. Students also lobbied to raise the yearly energy savings goal for utilities from 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

“I think the way we treat earth and use its resources is not okay,” said Spencer Hardy, a sophomore who had never lobbied a lawmaker. “The changes we had [sic] seen in climate are almost nothing compared to what will come if we keep treating the earth this way.”

The individual meetings with lawmakers usually lasted 10 to 15 minutes and took place inside the legislator’s offices inside the state Capitol or State Office Building.

Lobby_170aThe day culminated in a student-driven discussion panel with Governor Dayton, who voiced his support for an improved clean energy plan.

“Even as a youth, we are powerful,” said Kumar Flower Kay ‘15, an intern with the Will Steger Foundation’s Youth Environmental Activists Program who moderated the discussion. “When you all get together and show that you care, that can make a difference.”