Energy

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.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith and Congresswoman Betty McCollum Announce Federal Funding for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Minnesota

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (Both D-MN) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) announced federal support to help cities and commercial buildings develop plans to implement energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades across Minnesota. It will also be used to help eligible homeowners install energy efficiency upgrades in their homes, like installing energy efficient furnaces and water heaters or improving insulation and sealing windows, providing them long term cost-savings. The money comes from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation, which both Senators and the Congresswoman voted for in 2021. “Investing in energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy sources can help lower utility bills and our carbon footprint,” said Klobuchar. “With these federal funds, Minnesota businesses and families can install the equipment they need to retrofit their homes to save money, and communities can get assistance to implement their energy goals.” “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question is whether our country leads or follows. I want us to lead,” said Senator Smith. “The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy that you don’t ever need to buy. These investments will help Minnesota businesses, communities, and families save money on their utility bills and reduce harmful emissions contributing to climate change.” “I am so pleased that Minnesotans will benefit from the $2,566,630 total investment in our state through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “The City of Saint Paul’s visionary Climate Action and Resilience Plan will be directly supported by these funds to conduct municipal energy audits and further their strategy to decarbonize municipal buildings by 2030. I commend President Biden for this important investment that will help us meet our climate goals

Klobuchar, Smith Announce New Federal Funding to Increase Access to Biofuels

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced significant federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install E15 dispensers at fueling stations located in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota to increase the availability of domestic biofuels and give drivers cleaner, more affordable fuel options. Gas stations and distribution facilities in Alexandria, Annandale, Belgrade, Crookston, Hoffman, Moorhead, Paynesville, and Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, will receive funding. The Department is making the awards through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), which was made possible with funding from Klobuchar and Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act, which was included as part of a larger legislative package in 2022. “Domestically produced biofuel strengthens our energy independence, supports farmers, and cuts costs for families,” said Klobuchar. “My bill with Senator Ernst, the Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act, unlocked this funding to help bring affordable biofuels to more local gas stations and help drivers save money.” “Biofuels offer us a clean, renewable, and homegrown pathway to transition away from fossil fuels,” said Smith. “Minnesota is already a leader in biofuels production, and this investment from the Inflation Reduction Act will further spur an industry that America relies on for energy independence, drivers rely on for lower gas prices, and farmers rely on for new streams of income. We’re reducing harmful emissions while creating more economic opportunity in rural areas.”These grants will reduce out-of-pocket costs for transportation fueling and distribution facilities to install and upgrade biofuel-related infrastructure

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Federal Funding to Improve Electrical Grid Resilience Against Severe Weather

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they secured federal funding for Xcel Energy’s extreme weather mitigation project through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program. This funding will support Xcel Energy projects to boost grid resilience against extreme weather like blizzards, severe cold, and ice storms which threaten electric reliability.  “It’s critical that our electric grid is able to withstand extreme weather,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will improve the resilience and reliability of our electric grid to keep the lights on for families and businesses all while

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Federal Funding to Strengthen Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they secured federal funding for upgrades to Minnesota Power’s High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) terminal stations through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program.  This project will modernize the aging terminal stations of a 465-mile HVDC transmission line that runs from Center, North Dakota, to Hermantown, Minnesota, to strengthen grid reliability in rural areas and improve access to affordable, clean electricity.  “Investments in our infrastructure are down-payments on the economic well-being of our state,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will allow us

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding for Low Carbon Hydrogen Production

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Heartland Hydrogen Hub, made up of public and private partners in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, will receive significant federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to produce low carbon hydrogen for power generation, natural gas distribution systems, and agricultural use.  “This investment will be an important part of our energy future, unlocking innovation and new sources of energy that will benefit our whole state,” said Klobuchar. “The combined public/private investments will create good-paying jobs and power Minnesota for years to come.” “The clean

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

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