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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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 $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 open. “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 encourage local governments, small businesses, and other eligible entities in Minnesota to apply.”  Funding for these pilot projects will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. The projects will provide incentives for producers and landowners to:  implement climate-smart conservation practices, activities, and systems on working lands, measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices, and develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities. How to Apply A range of public and private entities may apply, including: County, city or township governments Special district governments  State governments  Small businesses  For profit organizations other than small businesses Native American tribal governments

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 improved air quality for families in Minnesota and across the country,” Said Sen. Smith. “Now, polluters are working to roll back the clock on this progress and hamstring EPA’s ability to address the climate crisis. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in defending this landmark law and protecting Americans access to clean air.” 192 congressional Democrats—29 in the Senate and 163 in the House—signed onto the amicus brief, which argues that: By enacting the Clean Air Act (CAA), Congress gave the EPA broad authority to regulate air pollution like carbon dioxide (CO2). Section 111(d) of the CAA serves as a gap-filling provision to give the EPA flexibility to address pollution problems that developed since the CAA was passed over 50 years ago. Congress has taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to a problem as complex as climate change. The Republican arguments that new bills that seek to address the climate crisis

Klobuchar, Smith Announce $1.75 Million Grant For Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a $1,750,000 supplemental Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to continue restoration efforts in the Saint Louis River Estuary Area of Concern (AOC) in Lake Superior. This supplemental grant brings the total GLRI investment in the project to $7,770,000 and represents a larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes through the GLRI. “The Great Lakes are a national treasure and vital to the economy and environment in Minnesota and our

Notes from the Capital: September 2019

Lifting Up Rural Economies in Minnesota and Across the Country People who don’t live in small towns or rural areas often think about what these communities lack. But when I visit rural Minnesota, I see a lot of good things happening. I recently traveled to Madelia to learn about local projects and rural development efforts. I met business owners and leaders at the Madelia Chamber of Commerce, a telecommunications provider, a flower shop and a restaurant. What I’ve seen in Madelia and in other communities across the state are Minnesotans coming together to create innovative solutions that support jobs and the

U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Tammy Baldwin: ‘We’re Not the Same Person’ in Video on Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC [08/01/19]— Today in a new video, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) called for action to protect the Great Lakes from the adverse effects of climate change while establishing their distinct identities.   Smith and Baldwin, both members of the Senate Democratic Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, said that the negative effects of climate change on the Great Lakes, such as the increase in average surface water temperatures, pose a threat to public health, the environment, and the economy. Environmental changes in the Great Lakes region create challenges for nearby communities, wildlife populations, and the industries that sustain over

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to Discuss Climate Action at the Local Level as Part of Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis Inaugural Hearing in Washington on Wednesday, July 17

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/16/19]—Tomorrow, July 17, Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) will take part in the inaugural hearing of the Senate Special Committee on the Climate Crisis—on which she serves—to discuss the role the federal government can and should play in helping cities achieve clean energy goals and fight climate change. Sen. Smith will be joined by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, as well as other mayors from cities across the country. You can access a live video of the hearing here.  “The ones closest to the work often know best what will work, and that certainly holds true when it comes

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