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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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. Senators Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar Announce Clean Energy Support for Three Minnesota Tribes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith, a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and Amy Klobuchar (both D-Minn.) announced federal funding to connect Tribal homes to clean electricity, including homes previously not connected to electricity at all. Minnesota Tribes selected for funding include Prairie Island Indian Community, Red Lake Nation and Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. The grants are made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which Senators Smith and Klobuchar both supported. “For generations, Native communities have been hurt by underinvestment and underfunding of basic infrastructure. Our transition to a clean energy economy can’t leave Indian Country behind,” said Senator Smith. “This funding gets us closer to ensuring every household in Minnesota, including on Tribal lands, have access to clean electricity.” “This federal grant will deliver critical clean energy infrastructure improvements,” said Senator Klobuchar.“Investments into clean electricity are vital for securing the power grid in Tribal communities and bolstering the transition to renewable energy.” “This investment in Indian Country and, specifically, the Prairie Island Indian Community, will literally help create a brighter future for our people,” said Prairie Island Tribal Council President Grant Johnson. “Achieving energy sovereignty while eliminating or offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions on Prairie Island is the goal of our net zero program. This grant will allow us to make electrification improvements to our members’ home and involve them more directly in our efforts to change our energy narrative and achieve our net zero goal.” “We are excited and honored to have received the funding from the Biden-Harris Administration America Agenda to Electrify Homes Across Indian Country with Clean Energy. This funding will assist us in the implementation capacity

U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Federal Funding to Support Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture

WASHINGTON, [10.25.23] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced over $150 million in new funding for climate-smart agricultural and conservation programs in Minnesota. The investments are part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which offers payments and other incentives to address climate change and achieve natural resource benefits. “The Conservation Reserve Program helps equip our farmers with the tools to conserve and improve soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat. And Minnesota farmers and landowners’ participation rates are among the highest in the country,” said Klobuchar. “This critical funding will not only increase economic opportunities but will support agriculture and conservation efforts in our state.” “Climate friendly farming and land use practices are a win-win for Minnesota’s environment and ag economy,” said Smith. “These Climate-Smart programs are a creative way to combat the climate crisis while boosting rural economies and generating opportunity for farmers. I worked hard to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which made these investments possible.”  Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. In return, participants receive rental payments and cost-share assistance. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local environment and economy. Throughout her time in Congress, Senator Smith has lead efforts to create and expand conservation programs, including CRP. In 2020, Senator Smith successfully pushed the USDA to increase CRP incentive payments and help more producers participate.

U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Todd Young Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Farmers, Combat Climate Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. [7.11.23] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation that will help combat climate change and improve agricultural resilience and productivity. Experts estimate that American farmers could store up to 220 billion pounds of carbon annually across all US croplands. The Advancing Research on Agricultural Climate Impacts Act will bolster our understanding of soil carbon sequestration and help farmers enhance soil health, make their operations more resilient, and combat climate change. “Farmers in Minnesota don’t need to be told climate change is happening, they see it every year in the form of

Senators Smith, Young Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support Farmers, Conservation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) re-introduced legislationto support farmers seeking to adopt conservation and innovative climate practices on their farms. The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act would bridge the divide between the innovative research taking place at land-grant universities and those who farm for a living by helping family farms adopt climate friendly strategies like planting cover crops and using no-till practices. “Strong farm programs that encourage sustainable conservation and climate practices help farmers maintain productive operations for generations to come,” said Senator Smith. “They also help us reduce greenhouse

U.S. Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Funding Available for Climate-Smart Agriculture Programs

WASHINGTON [2.22.23] – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced new funding is available for voluntary, incentive-based climate-smart agricultural and conservation programs. The funding is made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year.   “Our farmers should have the tools and resources they need to conserve and improve soil, strengthen water quality, and preserve wildlife habitat,” said Klobuchar. “By providing Minnesota farmers with better access to critical, voluntary conservation programs, these investments will boost productivity and increase economic opportunities for our agricultural communities while protecting the environment.” “Climate friendly farming and

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Reintroduces Legislation to Support Sustainable Workplace Retirement Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/16/23]— Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) reintroduced legislation to provide legal certainty to workplace retirement plans that choose to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions or offer ESG investment options. “Sustainable investment options are good for retirees and good for our environment—that’s a win-win,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. “I’m putting forth this legislation because we know there’s a growing demand for sustainable investing, and Congress should act now to provide the legal certainty necessary to make sure workplace retirement plans are able to offer these options to workers

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