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a landmark international agreement to address climate change, and undermining a plan to reduce air pollution are both outdated and out of touch with what most Americans want.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

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on West Virginia v. EPA Supreme Court Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) issued the following statement in response to the West Virginia v. EPA Supreme Court decision: “For more than fifty years, the Clean Air Act has reduced pollution and improved air quality and health for families in Minnesota and across the country. Fifteen years ago, a conservative-majority court correctly ruled that this law could be the basis for regulating greenhouse gases—a decision that was reaffirmed in a unanimous opinion in 2011. “And yet, just 11 years later, this activist Supreme Court disregarded years of precedent and sided with large polluters and conservative special interests by

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Federal Funds to Increase Outdoor Access in Minnesota

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant new federal funding to support outdoor access and recreation in Minnesota following Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s visit to the state. The new projects include outdoor recreation additions to the North End Community Center in St. Paul, improvements to Soldiers Field Park in Rochester, and an expansion and renovation of Willard Park in Minneapolis. “With our state’s lakes, parks, and trails, getting outside is central to Minnesotans’ way of life,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreational opportunities, this funding will help ensure that

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease

WASHINGTON – Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) joined a group of their colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to support both the research and management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal neurological illness that impacts members of the deer family. Since its discovery in the 1960s, CWD has spread geographically. The bill, led by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) would authorize $70 million per year, split evenly between these dual purposes. The USDA would administer the funds through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and agriculture departments. The legislation, The

Sen. Tina Smith Receives First Annual Climate Change-Maker Award

WASHINGTON [3.23.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after receiving and accepting the first annual “Climate Change-Maker” award for her leadership in pushing for urgent federal investments to address climate change, build a clean energy economy, and spur economic development. “If we continue business as usual, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster,” said Senator Smith. “Yet this crisis also presents enormous opportunities to grow our economy, improve public health, address environmental injustices, and pass on a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.  A clean energy future is coming, the

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