By Jared Dean

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) paid a visit to Mankato Wednesday to tout the recent federal funding given to the area to bring energy-efficient renewable energy to government buildings across Blue Earth County, which includes the historic Blue Earth County Courthouse.

“Blue Earth County is going to be on track to reduce your carbon footprint by 2.9 million pounds annually, generating enough energy each month to power 600 refrigerators, 25,000 kilowatt-hours per month and bring down energy spending by $130,000 per month,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar discussed the importance of geothermal energy in the fight for more reliable clean energy.

Geothermal energy comes from wells that are drilled into underground reservoirs that turn steam and hot water into electricity used for heating and cooling.

The government buildings will also see energy-efficient LED lighting, solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.

“All of this, of course, is alternatives to oil, foreign oil, better for the environment, all kinds of things from the work we are doing here to the work we are doing with biofuels. They may be separate sources of energy, but they will all take us along the same track,” Klobuchar said.

Also in the meeting, Klobuchar stressed the importance of not relying on foreign energy. She says the war in Ukraine brings urgency to energy independence, as the United States has cut off Russian energy.

“People are starting to realize that we do not want to be dependent on foreign oil,” Klobuchar said. “We would rather be investing in energy-saving projects in the middle of Blue Earth County or in our farmers or workers with biofuels and alike, and this region is really set up for that”

Klobuchar also made a visit to Cambria’s processing facility in Le Sueur to meet with employees. The senator said she hoped to learn about how they operate, where energy can be conserved, and how policy in Washington can help.