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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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 Announces Significant Federal Funding to Combat Extreme Heat, Create More Green Spaces in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced over $33 million in federal funding to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in cities, towns, and suburbs throughout Minnesota. The funding is made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act, which Smith helped pass. “As climate change fuels record-breaking heat waves across the country, we need to be doing more to increase tree cover and improve access to nature,” said Smith. “Extreme heat strains our energy systems and has negative effects on public health and overall well-being. These investments, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, will increase access to green spaces and help communities become more resilient to extreme heat thanks to the cooling effects of tree cover.” The grants are made possible by investments from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history. Studies show that trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat, and increased food security, and create new economic opportunities. This historic funding will help support projects that increase tree cover in disadvantaged communities, provide equitable access to the benefits of nature, and deliver tangible economic and ecological benefits to Minnesota. The grants include:

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

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Historic Investment in Minnesota Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects

WASHINGTON [9.27.22] – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced historic federal funding that will expand climate-friendly agriculture in Minnesota and around the country. “Our farmers and agricultural communities are critical to our state economy,” said Klobuchar. “These investments will help create new markets for our agricultural products and encourage voluntary farming practices that help protect our environment.” “From educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies and producer groups to technology startups, a broad range of Minnesota organizations are at the cutting edge of research into climate-smart agriculture,” said Sen. Smith. “These investments will accelerate the growth of

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

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

Following Klobuchar and Smith Call, Biden Administration Approves Minnesota Request for Disaster Declaration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Biden administration has approved Minnesota’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration. Last month, Klobuchar and Smith led the entire Minnesota Congressional delegation in urging President Biden to approve Minnesota’s request, highlighting the need for federal assistance to help Minnesota communities recover from storms and historic flooding. “We’ve seen the impact of these storms and flooding in homes, businesses, and on our roads,” said Klobuchar. “I’m glad that the administration heeded my call to provide this federal disaster relief funding, which will be critical to helping communities

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