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Newberger, Overby share opinions at candidate forum

Candidates for U.S. Senate were at the Oct. 3 candidate forum at the University of Minnesota Morris. From left, Jeff Newberger, Paula Overby and Jerry Trooien. Newberger and Overby are challenging incumbent Amy Klobuchar. Trooien is challenging incubment Tina Smith. Sue Dieter/Stevens County Times

Minnesota is headed in the right direction in terms of energy development U.S. Senate candidate Paula Overby said. Candidate Jim Newberger said any development needs to include coal, nuclear and renewable energy.

Overby is the Green Party candidate and Jim Newberger is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Amy Klobuchar. The two candidates were in an Oct. 3 forum at the University of Minnesota Morris. Klobuchar did not attend the forum but sent a letter to the forum organizers which was read during the forum.

"It would be great to see a National Energy Policy," Overby said. Minnesota is doing well in the development of clean renewable energy but "it's unfortunate we are not getting more assistance from the federal government," Overby said.

When it comes to energy development, Newberger favors "an any of the above" menu.

Newberger cited Germany as an example of a country in which an all-out push for renewable energy is not feasible. "Look at Germany. They are building (several) new coalp lants because green energy is not working," Newberger said. Germany is building new coal plants to mine lignite, or brown coal, Newberger said.

The candidates also responded to questions about the cost of college, immigration and the federal budget and debt.

Colleges and universities need to be held accountable when it comes to student debt and high costs, Newberger said. The fee per credit at state universities and colleges should not be higher than four times the mininum wage, Newberger said.

Newberger would also take a similar approach to federal debt and the budget but holding it accountable to cut the waste, fraud and abuse within the system of the government and programs.

One big waste of government money is war, Overby said.

U.S. residents have paid into programs such as Social Security and the federal government has a responsibility to keep such funds solvent. "Where do we reduce spending? On war," Overby said.

As the U.S. cuts spending on war it can also invest in education which is a better investment in future security and the economy than war, Overby said.

In her provided letter, Klobuchar cited her history of successfully passing bills because of her bipartisan work. She said she will work hard to address college student debt, to focus on readying the workforce for the next round of jobs including through apprenticeship programs for students, and on the goal of lowering costs for families as well as addressing other issues.

For a story on a state race between Rep. Jeff Backer and Murray Smart click this link.  For a story on Jerry Trooien who is running for Sen. Tina Smith's seat in a special election click here.