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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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

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,

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 across our state get the assistance they need.”  “Climate-fueled extreme weather has impacted every corner of our state,” said Smith. “In the face of historic flooding, Minnesotans showed their resilience and generosity. When flood waters rose and homes were damaged, volunteers and neighbors were quick to fill sandbags, clean up debris, and lend a hand to those in need. But impacted communities need substantive and timely federal assistance to speed up the recovery effort. I’m proud of our efforts to secure this support, which will go a long way towards helping communities rebuild.” Klobuchar and Smith have been actively working to secure resources for communities throughout the state that have been impacted by the recent flooding damage and the cold, wet spring weather. In June, they surveyed flooding and storm damage in International Falls with Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) and representatives from the Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Department of

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Major Federal Funding for Great Lakes Restoration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will use federal funding secured through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act to restore environmentally degraded Areas of Concern (AOC) within the Great Lakes. This funding will specifically help clean-up and work to delist the St. Louis River Area of Concern in Duluth-Superior, the second largest AOC in the United States. “The Great Lakes are a major part of Minnesotans’ way of life, providing clean drinking water, a home for fish and wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Senator

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $1 Billion Investment in Climate-Smart Farming

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/09/22]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $1 billion in funding for a new program that will support climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Minnesota and across the country. As part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will launch pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. Senator Smith encourages eligible public and private entities in Minnesota to apply now that project applications are

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins 190+ Congressional Democrats in Brief to The Supreme Court Defending EPA’s Clean Air Act Authority

WASHINGTON, DC [1.25.22] — Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with more than 190 congressional Democrats, submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The brief supports EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to protect the public from harmful pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and address the climate crisis. It also rejects spurious arguments made by congressional Republicans in their own amicus brief, in which they wrongly challenge the EPA’s authority to address climate pollution. “For more than fifty years, the Clean Air Act has reduced pollution and

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Backs Administration Decision to Complete Two Year Mining Safety Study, Which She’d Pushed For

MINNESOTA [10/20/21]— U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that she backs the decision by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Interior (DOI) to complete a two-year study that will determine the safety of copper-nickel mining in the watershed that feeds the world-renowned Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), which is she pushed for earlier this year. The safety study was abruptly halted in 2018, without explanation. In March, Sen. Smith pushed U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to direct key agencies under their jurisdictions to finish the study. Sen. Smith released the following statement on

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