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

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 an enormous economic opportunity. This legislation will incentivize adoption of heat pumps, which will help us use American-made clean electricity that increases our energy independence, lowers energy costs for families, reduces pollution, and protects the planet.” Currently, seven percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from residential buildings using fossil fuels for space heating, water heating, and space cooling. In addition to transforming the heat pump market, encouraging home electrification, and improving grid reliability, this legislation would also lower energy costs for consumers. The Installing Clean Efficient Energy Hastens Our Transition (ICEE HOT) Act will also require that 40 percent of funds be used to provide rebates to disadvantaged businesses or entities that employ disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, the bill would support unionized labor by directing 40 percent of rebate funds to manufacturers and distributors that meet strict labor standards and employ unionized workers. Additional co-sponsors of the include Senators Elizabeth

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 other federal programs, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  “Investments in clean energy are a true win-win – strengthening our economy while addressing the growing threat of climate change,” said Klobuchar. “As we work to transition to a clean energy economy, this funding will be critical to helping communities across Minnesota reliably access clean, low-cost energy.” “I always say that when it comes to transitioning to a clean energy economy, we can lead or follow—and I think we should lead,” said Sen. Smith. “Transitioning to a clean energy economy isn’t just essential to reduce air pollution and combat climate change; it’s a huge economic opportunity for local communities in Minnesota and across the country. This new program will help Duluth, Hennepin County and Minneapolis take charge of their clean energy future while lowering energy costs for Minnesotans.”  “We are grateful to be in partnership with the Department of Energy and

After Push from U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Biden Administration to Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

WASHINGTON D.C. [11/23/21]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said the Biden Administration plans’ to release oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve is good news for hardworking Minnesota families who have been struggling to cope with the rising gas prices. The announcement comes two weeks after Sen. Smith and eleven Senate Democrats pressed the administration to take action to ease gas prices, including by releasing supply from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Senators said that recent decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) threaten to push prices higher and the move to release oil from the Strategic Reserve

U.S. Sen. Smith Says New Report Confirms Her Clean Electricity Plan Would Create Millions of Jobs, Provide for Affordable Energy, & Add Billions in Economic Value

WASHINGTON, D.C. [9/9/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) says a new report from a credible research company confirms why she’s been fighting for the Clean Electricity Payment Plan (CEPP) in the Senate. The report—released today by Analysis Group and summarized by Evergreen Action and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)—shows how Congress can create nearly 8 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic growth over the next decade by passing the CEPP. “This report confirms why I’ve been pushing my clean electricity plan: we can create millions of good paying jobs across the country, provide for affordable energy, clean up air and water pollution, and

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s Statement on House Clean Electricity Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. [9/9/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—who has been championing her clean electricity plan in the U.S. Senate—released the following statement after the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ 6), released its clean electricity plan. The House proposal aligns closely with what Sen. Smith has long been working on in the Senate. “I’ve been pushing my clean electricity plan since the beginning of this Congress, including working closely with key House members. I’m glad to see Rep. Pallone introduce a version in the House. I will work with my Senate colleagues and the Energy and Natural

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Recognized as “Key Senator” in Working to Close Budget Deal

U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) recently lauded the inclusion of an investment-based clean electricity approach she’s long championed—called the Clean Electricity Payment Program (CEPP), a type of clean electricity standard—in the landmark budget agreement passed by the Senate last week. And now, E&E News has identified Sen. Smith as one of “four key senators” who are working to close the deal. You can access the full E&E News piece here and an excerpt from the article below: “Sen. Tina Smith, a Minnesota Democrat, has been working for months on a clean electricity standard, a linchpin of President Biden’s climate policies. The standard

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