The emerging clean energy economy supports thousands of good-paying jobs in Minnesota and around the country. And wind, solar, and biofuels are helping to reduce carbon emissions, lower energy bills, and support rural economies. It’s clear that clean energy is a win-win for Minnesota, and that’s why Senator Tina Smith—a member of the Senate Energy Committee—is fighting for federal policies that support these innovative technologies.
Minnesota has long been a leader in renewable energy. The state ranks eighth in the nation for clean-energy patents, and in the last decade, clean energy startups have attracted more than $450 million in investments to Minnesota. In fact, because Minnesota is already close to meeting its goal of generating 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. While she served as Lieutenant Governor, Sen. Smith pushed for increasing Minnesota’s goal to 50 percent by 2030. A 50 percent standard could create up to 1,500 new jobs each year in the state while lowering the cost of energy for businesses and families, not to mention reducing harmful air pollution. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s biofuel industry generates nearly $5 billion for the state economy every year and supports thousands of jobs, all while producing a fuel that is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
The bottom line is that clean energy isn’t just smart environmental policy—it’s smart economic policy. The federal government should be following Minnesota’s lead and doing more to accelerate the clean energy transition. We can do this by funding more clean energy research, extending tax credits that incentivize renewable energy, and supporting biofuels. You can count on Sen. Smith to continue fighting for these policies in the Senate.