Become a Carbon Buster!
Everywhere I go in our state people are ready to take the energy challenge. They are tired of high energy prices, oil company record profits, and hundreds of thousands of dollars a minute going to foreign oil. Minnesotans are looking for ways to save energy dollars, reduce global warming and add jobs through homegrown Minnesota energy. Join me in taking the energy challenge to save money in our homes and on the road, improve our environment and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
- Wash your clothes in cold water
- Use a programmable thermostat
- Turn off electronics and lights when you leave a room
- Insulate your attic and walls to minimize heat loss
- Install energy efficient windows
Take the Minnesota Energy Challenge at: www.mnenergychallenge.org
About the Carbon Buster Awards:
How can potential recipients be nominated for a "Carbon Buster" Award of Excellence?
E-mail or mail our office with nominations of a person, organization, business, or governmental unit for a "Carbon Buster Award." These awards are based on an individual's or organization's efforts to reduce global warming and combat climate change.
Nominations may be made at any time and must include a cover letter that includes the name of the contact person and a brief narrative of why this entity deserves this award. Any other information that is deemed essential should be included.
How will the recipients of the Carbon Buster Award of Excellence be Determined?
Awards will be given to innovators-local government, businesses, non-profits, and individuals- who have taken significant steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions in their communities. Criteria will include cost effectiveness, the projected amount that greenhouse gases were lowered, and applicability to a broader base of applications.
A volunteer selection committee, including myself, will judge the entrants.
What will all recipients of the Carbon Buster Award receive?
Recipients will receive a certificate commemorating the award, a news release detailing the efforts of the award recipient, and the opportunity to meet with me to honor the award winners and highlight their achievements.
Carbon Buster Award Winners:
Recently, I had the pleasure of awarding the Carbon Buster Award to the following Minnesotans.
Mark Schiller, of Chaska, a student at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota was awarded my Carbon Buster Award for the college essay category. Mark has worked with the Carlson school to develop initiatives within their department to be more energy efficient and be more green across their operations. They hope to share these initiatives with the business community. Mark is also an intern in the corporate environmental affairs department of Best Buy, helping the company to meet their Climate Leaders goal. Mark is working to identify which stores are high energy users and how they can reduce their energy use.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar presents Chaska native Mark Schiller with a "Carbon Buster Award."
Applied Environmental Solutions, a student group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota was awarded my Carbon Buster Award for the College Multimedia Project category. These students work on a variety of projects like electric scooters, conversion of gas vehicles to electric, or participating in the solar car competition. Their focus is on projects which use renewable energy resources and technologies that reduce energy use. The students work together across a variety of disciplines to brain storm technical, financial, social, and political solutions. Students like these are the ones who will lead us to the new technologies that we need to meet tough carbon reduction targets. They will lead Minnesota companies in the creation of solutions to help us address the challenges of climate change.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Will Steger (far right) with Carbon Buster Award recipients Applied Environmental Solutions group members (from left) Ahmed Daoud, Steve Peichel, Jodi Thomas, Professor Paul Imbretson, Tom Meyer, Adam Malovrh and Ektoras Bakalakos.
Merrick, Inc. was awarded my Carbon Buster award for the nonprofit organization category. Merrick is a service provider to adults with disabilities. The Vadnais Heights-based non-profit has created one of the most unique and environmentally friendly commercial buildings in the State of Minnesota, incorporating in the building's design a thermal envelope, a 100kW solar installation, a white roof, a geothermal system and a redesigned lighting system. Merrick estimates that they will decrease their usage of coal generated electricity by at least 33% which, over the next 25 years, is the equivalent of planting 312,100 trees and eliminates the emission of 6,236,900 pounds of carbon dioxide, 10,850 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 18,100 pounds of nitrous oxide to the air.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar presents Mike Greenbaum, representing Vadnais Heights non-profit Merrick, Inc., with a "Carbon Buster Award."
West Central Telephone Association in Sebeka also received my Carbon Buster Award. West Central Telephone is a cooperative located in Sebeka that has done pioneering work on solar/wind hybrid power systems and has launched Zenergy to provide and install renewable energy systems.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar presents Mary Sorenson, representing Sebeka-based West Central Telephone Association with a "Carbon Buster Award."
In 2007, while visiting a high-performance energy-efficient "green" building in Bloomington, MN, I had the honor of presenting the first "Carbon Buster Awards of Excellence," showcasing local efforts to combat global warming and climate change.
QBP (Quality Bicycle Products) was awarded my Carbon Buster Award for the construction of its new high-efficiency 135,000-square-foot distribution center. The building recently received a Gold rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The building features innovative wastewater technologies, high-efficiency appliances and a design capitalizing on natural light. It is also outfitted with a 40 kilowatt solar panel array, which is the largest in the Upper Midwest.
QBP's new building proves it is possible to improve energy efficiency, help protect the environment and create a better work setting for employees, while also saving money. As a successful private business, QBP made a bottom-line decision to invest in technology that will ultimately increase its profitability. The company sets a great example for what is possible for other businesses - and for all of us!
Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) also received my Carbon Buster Award for the work this Minnesota nonprofit organization does to promote the responsible and efficient use of natural and economic resources.
One of the ways CEE has taken an active role is by sponsoring the "Minnesota Energy Challenge," an effort to empower Minnesotans to take simple steps to reduce their energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.
Individuals can go to the Energy Challenge website (www.mnenergychallenge.org); calculate their current energy use and carbon output; and then pledge to take simple energy-saving actions that, in many cases, also save money. The Energy Challenge is also available to businesses, local governments, schools, churches and others.
Senator Klobuchar’s Offices
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main Line: 202-224-3244
Main Fax: 202-228-2186
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043
1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043
1130 1/2 7th Street NW, Room 208
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Olcott Plaza, Room 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690