The emerging clean energy economy supports thousands of good-paying jobs in Minnesota and around the country. And wind, solar, and biofuels are helping to reduce carbon emissions, lower energy bills, and support rural economies. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Smith wrote the legislative framework for the Farm Bill Energy Title, and has introduced legislation to support energy storage innovation. Sen. Smith believes that clean energy is a win-win for Minnesota and is committed to fighting for federal policies that support these innovative technologies.
Minnesota has long been a leader in renewable energy. The state ranks eighth in the nation for clean-energy patents, and in the last decade, clean energy startups have attracted more than $450 million in investments to Minnesota. Today, renewable energy accounts for a quarter of all electricity generated in Minnesota–the state is ranked fifth in the nation for solar installations, and nearly 20 percent of our electricity now comes from wind power. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s biofuel industry generates nearly $5 billion for the state economy every year and supports thousands of jobs, all while producing a fuel that is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
Sen. Smith believes that clean energy isn’t just smart environmental policy, it’s smart economic policy. In Minnesota, clean energy sector jobs are growing twice as fast as jobs in other parts of the economy, which is why Sen. Smith is pushing the federal government to follow Minnesota’s lead and do more to accelerate the clean energy transition. She believes we should do this through national clean energy targets, by funding more clean energy research, by extending tax credits that incentivize clean and renewable energy, and by supporting biofuels. You can count on Sen. Smith to continue fighting for these policies in the Senate.
Sen. Smith, Rep. Spanberger Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Strengthen Popular Program to Lower Energy Costs, Expand Clean Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). A version of the bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and David Valadao (R-CA-22). REAP provides financial assistance to farmers, producers, and rural small business owners to install renewable energy systems and adopt energy efficiency measures. Since 2021, REAP has leveraged more than $1.2 billion in public investment to stimulate more than twice that amount in private investment — delivering more than $3.4 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for rural America. The REAP Modernization Act would build on this success by increasing the cost share for REAP grants and raising certain grant limits. Additionally, the bipartisan bill would make it easier for farmers and small businesses to access the program by streamlining the application process and increasing assistance, outreach, and education for farmers and small businesses throughout the application process. “The clean energy transition is happening, the question is whether we lead or follow. I want us to lead,” said Smith. “But as we make the switch to cleaner, cheaper energy, we need to make sure everyone benefits. That’s one reason programs like REAP, which helps rural communities install renewable energy systems, are so important. REAP is the flagship program in the Farm Bill Energy Title, and I’m glad to partner with Representatives Spanberger and Valadao to introduce this bill to help improve
Senator Tina Smith, Congressional Delegation Conclude Mission to Iceland to Advance Clean Energy and Diplomatic Initiatives
WASHINGTON – A United States Senate delegation has concluded its mission to Iceland, where Senators met with the nation’s leaders and clean energy experts on a range of topics including expanding renewable energy and strengthening NATO. The bipartisan delegation included U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). The senators were briefed by U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Carrin F. Patman and U.S. embassy officials, met with host nation President Gudni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Climate Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Foreign Affairs Minister Thórdís Gylfadóttir, and members of the national parliament to discuss their work on climate action and the importance of maintaining and strengthening U.S.-Iceland ties and the NATO Alliance. They also toured geothermal power plants and carbon removal facilities and met with experts, business, and clean energy leaders to discuss Iceland’s work to produce nearly 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources and remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. The delegation also met with American servicemembers rotationally deployed to Keflavík Air Base. “Climate change is no longer a future threat – we’re seeing the impact every day in the form of record-shattering heatwaves, floods, wildfires and more,” said Senator Smith. “We need all hands on deck if we’re serious about addressing this crisis, which is why working with our allies in Iceland and around the world is so important. I was encouraged to hear about the progress they have made leveraging geothermal resources for electricity and heating
U.S. Senators Smith, Klobuchar Announce Major Investments to Expand Renewable Energy, Lower Energy Bills for Minnesotans
WASHINGTON [12/22/22] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.) announced over $21.6 million in federal funding to lower energy costs, combat climate change, and expand access to clean energy for Minnesotans. The funding – made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act– is based on Senator Smith’s legislation to help rural communities install renewable energy systems and will be distributed across nearly 150 projects throughout the state. The projects will save Minnesota businesses and families thousands of dollars a year in energy costs while reducing harmful greenhouse emissions. “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. These projects will bolster the region’s infrastructure, help expand health care access and upgrade health care facilities, address affordable housing needs, and improve public safety. “From making infrastructure improvements to expanding access to health care and affordable housing, these projects will help address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure
Klobuchar and Smith Announce Significant Federal Funding to Help Minnesotans with Heating and Energy Costs this Winter
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that Congress approved more than $18 million in federal funding to help Minnesotan families afford their heating costs and utility bills this winter. “As Minnesota prepares for winter, families shouldn’t have to choose between heating their homes or buying other necessities,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will be critical to helping families and seniors across our state pay their energy bills and keep their homes warm. I’ll keep working to ensure Minnesotans have the support they need to stay safe this winter.” “As global energy markets respond to
WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/13/22] — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement marking today’s celebration of the historic Inflation Reduction Act: “Today we are celebrating a historic bill that is already meeting the moment. In the month since Senate Democrats – without the help of a single Republican – passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the landmark legislation has created new investments, new jobs, and new opportunities for Americans. “It will reduce costs for American families by lowering prescription drug prices and making health care more affordable. It will unleash a new generation of American manufacturing that will help us