To the editor:

As the leaves start to turn and Minnesotans turn their attention to back-to-school and all kinds of fall activities, there is something new this fall I’m keeping my eye on. That’s the discussions and fervent negotiations currently taking place in Washington, D.C., over a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that includes unprecedented investments in clean energy technologies, transmission, making our buildings more energy efficient and so much more.

I work for a startup company in Bloomington called 75F, dedicated to making buildings smarter and more efficient. Every day I get excited about how our global company is going to help take megawatts of power off the grid, saving our customers money and, by extension, the planet.

Climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. Scientists predict Minnesota’s already extreme weather will become even more extreme, and dangerous, as our planet warms. So, what does this have to do with legislators in Washington negotiating over a budget bill? Everything.

I am writing to voice my support as a business that works in the energy efficiency industry to say that businesses want to see this bill pass. Federal investment in clean energy and efficiency would get desperately needed money flowing into all kinds of important programs. It would energize our clean energy workforce and strengthen our local economies. For businesses like ours, it would send a strong signal to potential clients that investing in energy efficiency is a smart and savvy business decision.

Some legislators may quibble over the cost, others the necessity of fighting climate change. But Minnesota businesses have already quietly started making commitments to power their operations with clean energy and lower their energy bills overall by prioritizing sustainability. We’re moving in this direction already, but a federal investment on this scale is truly a game changer.

One thing is certain, passing this bill would have life altering effects for the good of all Minnesotans, no matter their politics.

Bob French


French is the chief evangelist for Bloomington-based 75F.

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