Environment

Minnesota—in protecting freshwater resources and leading the way in creating a clean energy economy—has always been at the forefront of crafting responsible environmental policy. Sen. Smith carries this spirit to Washington and continues to fight for federal policies that seek to combat climate change, preserve clean air and clean water, and protect our most precious natural landscapes.

Despite the great work being done in states like Minnesota, environmental challenges persist every day. Terrible accidents like the Flint water crisis where cost-cutting measures led to dangerous levels of lead in Michigan homes, and sweeping challenges like climate change, make clear that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting our environment. Ignoring this responsibility would put our natural treasures, our public health, and even our economy at risk.

Part of this responsibility means fighting back against efforts to rollback responsible environmental policy. Decisions like pulling out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want. Sen. Smith will fight back against policies that threaten our environment and our public health, but she stands ready work with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure our environmental policies work better for Minnesotans and all Americans.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small for Visits to Wadena and Menahga

MINNEOSTA — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small to visit Wadena and Menahga in Central Minnesota. Photo and video footage from the visits can be found here. They started the day in Wadena, where they toured ­Tri-County Health Care’s new $72 million project. Named Astera Health, this will be a new 125,900 square-foot facility designed to integrate new technology, create a healthy environment that improves the patient experience and efficiency for staff, and ensure a sustainable future for health care in the area. Tri-County Health Care received a $42 million direct loan from the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program. After their visit with Tri-County Health Care, they toured Ten Finns Creamery in Menahga to learn about their specialization in A2 milk production and sustainable farming practices. Owned and operated by Joel and Amanda Hendrickson, their namesake comes from their Finnish ancestry and ten kids who play a big role in the daily care of their cows. Their specialization in A2 milk production produces dairy products for people with milk sensitivities to enjoy. They currently have whole milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, and butter available as products. They pride themselves on sustainable farming practices, which include refusing to use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and planting cover crops to keep carbon in the soil and out of our atmosphere. “It was great to have Under Secretary Torres Small here to see a glimpse of what rural Minnesota

Senators Smith, Heinrich Introduce Clean Energy Jobs Act To Boost Energy Saving Opportunities, Career Access For Women And Minorities

WASHINGTON [7/27/2022] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced the Clean Energy Jobs Act to meet growing energy workforce needs and create a comprehensive strategy at the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase participation among women and minorities throughout the industry. Energy jobs are some of the fastest growing occupations in America. From 2015 to 2019 the energy sector grew at twice the rate as the overall economy. In the coming years, there will be an increasing demand for trained workers, particularly in renewable energy, energy storage, and electrification. The Clean Energy Jobs Act helps meet this demand while providing good-paying jobs and increasing reliance on domestic manufacturing. “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, Co-Chair of the Electrification Caucus. “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 legislation will help ensure we have a diverse and well-trained workforce ready to meet the demand for good-paying clean energy careers.” “As more and more families are able to access the cost-saving and health benefits of home electrification, we need a workforce that has the skillsets to get these plans across the finish line. The Clean Energy Jobs Act builds up the workforce to meet the demand, and increases opportunities for women, minorities,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on West Virginia v. EPA Supreme Court Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) issued the following statement in response to the West Virginia v. EPA Supreme Court decision: “For more than fifty years, the Clean Air Act has reduced pollution and improved air quality and health for families in Minnesota and across the country. Fifteen years ago, a conservative-majority court correctly ruled that this law could be the basis for regulating greenhouse gases—a decision that was reaffirmed in a unanimous opinion in 2011. “And yet, just 11 years later, this activist Supreme Court disregarded years of precedent and sided with large polluters and conservative special interests by

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Federal Funds to Increase Outdoor Access in Minnesota

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant new federal funding to support outdoor access and recreation in Minnesota following Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s visit to the state. The new projects include outdoor recreation additions to the North End Community Center in St. Paul, improvements to Soldiers Field Park in Rochester, and an expansion and renovation of Willard Park in Minneapolis. “With our state’s lakes, parks, and trails, getting outside is central to Minnesotans’ way of life,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreational opportunities, this funding will help ensure that

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease

WASHINGTON – Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) joined a group of their colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to support both the research and management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal neurological illness that impacts members of the deer family. Since its discovery in the 1960s, CWD has spread geographically. The bill, led by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) would authorize $70 million per year, split evenly between these dual purposes. The USDA would administer the funds through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and agriculture departments. The legislation, The

Sen. Tina Smith Receives First Annual Climate Change-Maker Award

WASHINGTON [3.23.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after receiving and accepting the first annual “Climate Change-Maker” award for her leadership in pushing for urgent federal investments to address climate change, build a clean energy economy, and spur economic development. “If we continue business as usual, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster,” said Senator Smith. “Yet this crisis also presents enormous opportunities to grow our economy, improve public health, address environmental injustices, and pass on a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.  A clean energy future is coming, the

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