On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels and Program Analyst Dan Turner met with U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) and other notable Minnesotans including entrepreneurs, business executives, economists, and tax experts, in a roundtable panel discussion at the University of Minnesota Morris, to discuss how best to improve the federal policy environment for local renewable energy development.
Senator Franken, who is now on the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, planned the meeting with the seven other panelists. Topics discussed ranged from tax policy and renewable energy standards to smart grids, transmission, and barriers facing community wind development. The senator opened the meeting saying, "I'm here to listen," and he was true to his word, taking notes, asking questions of each of the other panel members, and showing that he already has a very strong grasp of the issues facing local renewable energy.