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.
Senator Tina Smith, Congressional Delegation Conclude Mission to Iceland to Advance Clean Energy and Diplomatic Initiatives
WASHINGTON – A United States Senate delegation has concluded its mission to Iceland, where Senators met with the nation’s leaders and clean energy experts on a range of topics including expanding renewable energy and strengthening NATO. The bipartisan delegation included U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). The senators were briefed by U.S. Ambassador to Iceland Carrin F. Patman and U.S. embassy officials, met with host nation President Gudni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Climate Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Foreign Affairs Minister Thórdís Gylfadóttir, and members of the national parliament to discuss their work on climate action and the importance of maintaining and strengthening U.S.-Iceland ties and the NATO Alliance. They also toured geothermal power plants and carbon removal facilities and met with experts, business, and clean energy leaders to discuss Iceland’s work to produce nearly 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources and remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. The delegation also met with American servicemembers rotationally deployed to Keflavík Air Base. “Climate change is no longer a future threat – we’re seeing the impact every day in the form of record-shattering heatwaves, floods, wildfires and more,” said Senator Smith. “We need all hands on deck if we’re serious about addressing this crisis, which is why working with our allies in Iceland and around the world is so important. I was encouraged to hear about the progress they have made leveraging geothermal resources for electricity and heating
U.S. Senators Smith, Klobuchar Announce Major Investments to Expand Renewable Energy, Lower Energy Bills for Minnesotans
WASHINGTON [12/22/22] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.) announced over $21.6 million in federal funding to lower energy costs, combat climate change, and expand access to clean energy for Minnesotans. The funding – made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act– is based on Senator Smith’s legislation to help rural communities install renewable energy systems and will be distributed across nearly 150 projects throughout the state. The projects will save Minnesota businesses and families thousands of dollars a year in energy costs while reducing harmful greenhouse emissions. “The transition to clean energy is happening, the question is whether our country leads or follows. I want us to lead,” said Smith. “These investments in renewable energy will save Minnesota businesses and families thousands of dollars a year in energy costs while helping reduce harmful emissions. I’m proud of our work to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which made investments like these possible.” “Investments in renewable energy drive our economy forward and help consumers save on energy costs,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will lower energy bills for communities across the state while making it easier for farmers and small businesses to access energy efficiency upgrades.” The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which helps farmers, ag producers and entrepreneurs purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. Nearly 150 projects in Minnesota are set to receive funding thanks to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act
Senators Smith, Luján, and Clean Energy Advocates Discuss The Future Of Federal Investments In Clean Energy
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined Clean Energy for America and The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to discuss how Congress will continue to move forward on historic federal investments in clean energy. During the conversation, Senator Smith underscored her support for clean energy and emphasized that Congress must urgently pass legislation that protects our environment, reduces emissions, and generates economic opportunity in the process. “Addressing climate change is a moral, economic, and a justice issue,” said Senator Smith. “Transitioning to clean energy and taking climate action will create more opportunity, more innovation,
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Push HHS to Help Protect Families This Winter During Energy Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/23/21]—With home heating costs set to rise by 30 percent this winter, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-Minn.) are pressing top federal officials to ensure that hard-hit families in Minnesota and across the country continue to have access to adequate home heating assistance. On Wednesday, the lawmakers joined a bicameral letter urging U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to address the ongoing energy crisis and its impact on families served by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The lawmakers pointed out that the expected winter spike in home heating costs
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on Senator Joe Manchin’s reversal on the Build Back Better Act: “‘I just can’t get there.’ I’ve heard that before when Senator Manchin killed off the Clean Electricity Plan. He was wrong then and he’s dangerously wrong now. Failing to pass Build Back Better condemns us to higher energy prices, fewer jobs, and a back seat to those that take action and lead on technology and innovation. This stance is downright unpatriotic, and it utterly fails to address the climate crisis. “The bipartisan infrastructure bill was an important
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