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

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 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

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Says Her Clean Electricity Standard (CES) Included in Budget Deal; Shares Primer on How CES Works

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7/15/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said that the Clean Electricity Standard (CES) she has championed is included in the budget deal, and shared this helpful primer on how a CES will play an important role in the nation’s transition to a clean energy future. “A Clean Electricity Standard is the cornerstone of the progressive, practical transformation to a clean energy future we urgently need,” said Sen. Smith. “Getting it included in the budget package sends a strong signal we are committed to tackling climate change.  I will continue to work hard on getting a CES done because we cannot squander this moment. We

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Subcommittee Hearing on Renewable Energy Growth and Opportunities in Rural America

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/22/21]—Today U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led her first hearing as Chair of the Senate Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, where energy leaders discussed opportunities for jobs and economic development in rural America that expanding the nation’s use of renewable energy will bring.  Sen. Smith was joined by energy leaders from across the country, including three Minnesotans: Mr. Shannon Schlecht, Executive Director of Agricultural Utilization Research Institute in Crookston; the Honorable Katie Sieben, Chairwoman of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in St. Paul; and St. Paul native Ms. Emily Skor, Chief Executive Officer of Growth Energy.  Sen. Smith said that today’s testimony will help inform her as infrastructure talks continue. It is important to her that rural voices are

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger Push to Improve Popular & Effective Rural Energy for America Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/24/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA 7)—along with U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Representative David G. Valadao (R-CA 21)—introduced legislation in both the Senate and House aimed at improving the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural business owners to install renewable energy systems and adopt energy efficiency measures.   Sen. Smith and Rep. Spanberger, who each chair a subcommittee that oversees rural energy efficiency, said that in the last six years, REAP has leveraged over $300 million in public investment to stimulate more than ten

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

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