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. 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 to shield Americans from the energy burden brought on by Putin’s price hike, it has become painfully clear that true energy independence will never come from more fossil energy production. “We appreciate President Biden’s commitment to fighting inflation and cutting energy costs for American families. Building electrification is one of the most practical actions to lower costs for American families, create jobs, improve air quality, and address the climate crisis. “We urge the Biden Administration to take action to ramp up American manufacturing and adoption of electric appliances like heat pumps and work with the Senate to steer transformative investments in clean energy across the finish line. “We will continue working closely with the Biden Administration to confront the climate crisis and to follow through on the President’s commitment today to achieve true and lasting American energy independence.”

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 of cash and as a weapon, and Ukraine is paying the price for Putin’s control of the gas pipelines that supply Europe.  U.S. natural gas exports help, but there is no quick way to up our exporting capacity.  Energy prices are rising, and Russia is to blame.  If we can quickly get more gas to Europe, we should, but the medium to long term solution for Europe and America is to wean ourselves off of oil and gas.  “There has been a lot of talk in the last week about the need for energy independence, and I agree.  But we can’t drill our way to energy independence. The best way to truly achieve energy independence is to move aggressively towards building out our clean energy.  Oil, and increasingly natural gas, are sold on a global market.  This means that no matter how much we produce at home, prices in the US are tied to the

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Lauds President Biden’s Bold Action to Address Climate Risk to the Financial System

WASHINGTON, D.C. [5/20/21]—This afternoon, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement in response to President Biden signing an executive order addressing climate-related financial risks. Among other things, the order directed the Department of Labor to review harmful limits imposed by the Trump Administration that prevented the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors by workplace retirement plans.  “I’m pleased to see President Biden is taking bold action to address climate risk to the financial system.  It’s critical that financial regulators and the federal budget take into account the risks of climate change.  In addition, I’m especially glad

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, John Hoeven Reintroduce Bill to Improve Financial Stability of Electric Coops, Small Rural Broadband Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/26/21]—U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) reintroduced a bipartisan bill to help stabilize the finances of the nation’s rural electric cooperatives and rural broadband providers. The Flexible Financing for Rural America Act would make it possible for rural electric cooperatives and telecommunications providers to refinance their Rural Utilities Service (RUS) debt at lower interest rates. A House companion was introduced by Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).  Sens. Smith and Hoeven said that this could help rural cooperatives and businesses better manage cash-flow, invest in rural communities, and pass savings on to customers. “Rural electric cooperatives are critical to

U.S. Senators Smith, Capito Lead Bipartisan Senate Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions with Carbon Capture Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. [3/25/21]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will be leading a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their bill would make tax credits that encourage carbon capture projects more available and easier to use. The bipartisan Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Tax Credit Amendments Act is also supported by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). This legislation would make improvements to ensure that carbon capture utilization and

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Says More Information Coming Forward on How National Gas Price Spike is Hurting Families Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. [2/23/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said more information is coming to light about how families will be hurt financially following the price of natural gas quickly spiking when extreme weather hit Texas and other parts of the central United States. During a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MN PUC) hearing earlier today, utilities shared how these costs are projected to be passed on to customers, with major utilities estimating per customer costs averaging $250 or more. Additionally, yesterday, following Sen. Smith’s letter seeking an investigation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced that they had launched an investigation

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