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.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded major federal funding to support biofuel producers in Minnesota through a program created by bipartisan legislation led by Klobuchar. The funding will provide economic support to lower costs and offset market losses through the Biofuel Producer Relief Payments program. This program, created in December 2020, is based on the Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act, Klobuchar’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to provide relief to biofuel and renewable fuel producers that suffered market losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Renewable fuel processing plants employ thousands of people in rural areas, purchase billions of bushels of commodities from farmers, and provide stability in our agricultural supply chain,” said Klobuchar. “I fought for this funding to ensure our farmers and biofuel processors have the support they need to get through the economic uncertainties resulting from the pandemic.” “Minnesota biofuel producers were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Smith. “This relief will help them get back on their feet and lower costs after more than two years of serious challenges. To keep our economy strong, it’s critical our renewable fuel producers have the resources they need to bounce back from pandemic related losses. I’ll keep working to direct much-needed federal relief to Minnesota communities so that we can rebuild a stronger, more resilient economy.” Specifically, USDA Rural Development will provide funding to the following producers: $14.2 million for
Sen. Smith, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Expand Access to Clean, Affordable Heating and Energy
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and six of their colleagues in introducing legislation to expand access to clean, affordable heating and lower energy costs for consumers. The Heating Efficiency and Affordability through Tax Relief (HEATR) Act would create a manufacturer tax credit to incentivize production of high-efficiency, safe, and affordable heat pumps. In addition to Smith, the legislation is also sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). “Far too many households across our state struggle to afford their heating costs. Families should not have to choose between paying for heat and other essential necessities,” said Klobuchar. “This legislation is a win-win – reducing energy costs for consumers, while strengthening access to clean, energy-efficient heating solutions. As we continue transitioning to a clean energy economy, increasing production of heat pumps will be critical to lowering emissions and helping families across our state get the affordable heating they need.” “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question is whether our country leads or follows. I want us to lead,” said Smith. “If we do nothing, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster. The good news is that taking action on climate also presents an enormous economic opportunity. This legislation will incentivize manufacturers to produce more heat pumps, and provides important extra incentives for heat pumps that work in cold climates. By installing more heat pumps and running them off of American-made
Senator Tina Smith, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Incentivize Electrification, Boost American Manufacturing, and Lower Energy Costs
WASHINGTON [05.04.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues to introduce legislation that would reduce residential building emissions and increase energy security. The bill, authored by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), would expand incentives for manufacturers and distributors of American-made building electrification products, such as HVAC equipment and water heating appliances. “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question is whether our country leads or follows. I want us to lead,” said Senator Smith. “If we do nothing, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster. The good news is that taking action on climate also presents
Klobuchar, Smith Announce Federal Funding to Lower Utility Costs, Transition to Clean Energy in Hennepin County, Duluth
WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/07/22]—Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-Minn.) announced that Duluth and areas in Hennepin County – including Minneapolis – were selected as part of a new federal program to help local governments create a path towards clean energy. The program will provide direct support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop community-wide action plans that address local air pollution, energy resilience, utility costs and energy burdens, and provide long-term jobs. This new program – the Communities Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP) – will also provide technical assistance for communities to secure funding from
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Fellow Electrification Caucus Co-Chairs Calling On President Biden To Achieve True Energy Independence With Electrification And Clean Energy
WASHINGTON [4.1.22] – The Co-Chairs of the Electrification Caucus – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) – released the following statement in response to President Biden’s latest proposals to address the energy price hikes brought on by Vladimir Putin’s unjustified war in Ukraine: “Increasing our deployment of clean energy and adoption of energy-efficient electric heating and cooling systems is a national security issue, and it has become a global security imperative with Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine. While it is important to take short-term measures
U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on the Need for Energy Independence in Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/03/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on the need for energy independence as we face rising energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “The tragic events playing out in Ukraine drive home just how important it is to cut ourselves free of the global oil and gas market. The dramatic spike in global fossil fuel prices caused by this unprovoked war demonstrate the damage that can be done to the pocketbooks of American families when our energy supply hinges on the whims of autocratic leaders. Putin uses his oil and gas as a source