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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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.
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 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. I encourage eligible Minnesota famers to apply.” The Inflation Reduction Act provided an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate smart agriculture through several of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) conservation programs. These voluntary programs are implemented through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and allow farmers and forest landowners to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices. The NRCS is making $850 million available in fiscal year 2023 for its popular conservation programs: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). These investments
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 across the country.” Despite considerable demand for sustainable investment options, relatively few workplace retirement plans, such as pensions and 401(k) plans, take sustainable investing principles into account in their investment decisions or provide sustainable investment options to workers. This is the case even though many workers and retirees want their plans to do so. One of the primary issues hindering plans that want to offer sustainable investment options is an uncertain and regularly changing legal environment. Under the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor issued a rule that imposed new limits on the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors by workplace retirement plans. That rule was rescinded and replaced last year, once again allowing plans to invest sustainably. However, the new rule is currently subject to a legal challenge and is the target of a Congressional Review Act resolution. The Freedom to Invest in a Sustainable Future Act
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
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