Klobuchar visits USG on ‘jobs, energy and innovation’ road tripU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar paid a visit to USG Interiors in Cloquet Wednesday as part of a week-long road trip to highlight the job creation potential of energy efficiency and homegrown energy.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar paid a visit to USG Interiors in Cloquet Wednesday as part of a week-long road trip to highlight the job creation potential of energy efficiency and homegrown energy.
Klobuchar is co-author of the American Renewable Energy Act which would establish a national renewable energy standard to stimulate innovation and investment in homegrown energy. She also serves as chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion.
The USG Corporation manufactures acoustical tiles and energy-saving products such as insulated building materials, and it exports its building products to nearly every country in the world.
As part of Klobuchar’s visit, she toured part of the mill’s manufacturing plant and sought input regarding possible ways improved legislation could enhance the energy-efficiency and productivity of such industries.
On hand to meet with Klobuchar Wednesday was USG plant manager Bill Schmitt, along with chamber, city and county officials.
Schmitt informed the senator that USG’s Cloquet operation employs some 350 workers and has invested some $100 million in capital products since 1985. He added the company recently approved funding for a new $20 million production line, and he briefly explained to Klobuchar the basics of the raw materials that go into the manufacture of the local tiles.
Klobuchar questioned how the local USG plant distributes its products, and Schmitt said all are currently transported by truck, though he acknowledged the company would likely be open to the possibility of “piggybacking” with regional rail transit as well.
Klobuchar’s statewide tour will conclude with an Energy Efficiency and Innovation Summit on Thursday at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis to bring together Minnesota policymakers and businesses...