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Minnesota House passes transformative clean energy legislation

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Today the Minnesota House of Representatives passed transformative legislation that will tackle the climate crisis and create good jobs. House File 7 establishes new clean energy goals for the state and puts Minnesota on a path to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. 

“Minnesota has a proud tradition of being a national clean energy leader, but we’ve fallen behind other states,” said the bill’s author, House Majority Leader Jamie Long. “Enacting the 100% bill will put Minnesota back on the map for clean energy leadership. Minnesotans are calling on us to act and we are answering the call.” 

In 2007, a DFL House, DFL Senate, and a Republican Governor enacted the Next Generation Energy Act, which sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. According to a 2021 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) report, the state is not on track to meet its clean energy goals, with emissions declining just eight percent from 2005 levels. 

“DFLers are committed to taking action on climate — unchecked climate pollution threatens Minnesota’s future,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Now is the time to take bold action and ensure Minnesotans have the healthy climate and clean energy future they deserve.” 

Over the past four years the Minnesota House has voted twice to improve upon the state’s clean energy goals, most recently in 2021 when legislators approved a Commerce and Energy budget that established the same 100% by 2040 clean energy goals legislators voted for today. Twenty-one other states have already established a 100% clean-energy standard or goal.

The same bill is advancing in the Minnesota Senate, where it passed the Senate Energy, Utilities, Environment and Climate Committee just yesterday. Gov. Walz included the same policy in his budget proposal for fiscal years 2024-2025, and has included the policy in past budget proposals. According to the University of Minnesota, the state of Minnesota is one of the fastest-warming states in the nation. 

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