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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ben Davis (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, January 27, 2023
Telecom Day

Thank you to the people from Tremolo Communications who recently visited my office to discuss issues during Telecom Day in St. Paul. I appreciate the input!

Dear Neighbor,

There’s no use sugarcoating it: It’s been yet another week of House Democrats pushing extreme bills through the House.

Let’s start with last evening, when House Democrats passed a bill that increases consumer energy prices, reduces power reliability and ultimately compromises safety.

The bill (H.F. 7) extends and increases Minnesota’s renewable energy standard to 55 percent by 2035 and requires electric utilities in the state to generate or acquire 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040.

report from the Center of the American Experiment estimates the Walz/Democrat plan to move to 100 percent carbon free electricity by 2040 will cost $313 billion, or nearly $3,900 per family per year. The same study indicates the return on these massive consumer costs would be negligible at best, paying to potentially avert 0.00096 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100.

Our state’s approach on energy should be to ensure Minnesotans have access to affordable, reliable power. We need to have all options available for a diversified grid. This bill House Democrats approved takes us the absolute wrong direction, raising costs and exposing Minnesota to the dangers of unreliable power.

The Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator currently has reported a 1,200-megawatt capacity shortfall, indicating Minnesota already doesn’t have enough reliable power-plant capacity online to meet expected peak electricity demand. MISO warnings of capacity shortfalls for peak periods will become more commonplace if our state continues to rely more on intermittent, weather-dependent energy sources as House Democrats propose.

I personally just experienced a weather-related power outage that lasted multiple days and can’t imagine the damage that could be caused by more frequent occurrences. This bill could push our grid to reach crisis levels, especially among our more vulnerable friends and family. Unfortunately, House Democrats don’t appear to be taking this issue seriously.

We all want clean energy, so let’s work on diversifying the state’s grid responsibly by harnessing advancements in new nuclear technology, carbon capture and storage, and other lower-cost alternatives for reducing carbon emissions.

Republicans offered amendments intended to improve H.F. 7, including by allowing generation and transmission outfits to evaluate their own criteria on whether to modify or delay standard obligations. This takes the decision-making away from the Public Utilities Commission and provides a more flexible, common-sense approach allowing for market-based solutions instead of government mandates.

House Democrats blocked that amendment and other Republican proposals before approving the bill and sending it to the Senate for a vote.

Another extreme abortion bill

The House Democrats’ extreme, out-of-touch position on abortion also continued this week. Just days after House Democrats approved a bill to make Minnesota’s abortion law among the most extreme on Earth, they took an even more radical and potentially dangerous stance on the subject this week.

Last week, House Democrats provided final passage of a bill to make abortion, already legal in the state, available at any time during a pregnancy – up to the moment of birth – and with no guardrails. This week, House Democrats provided committee passage of a bill that’s even more out of touch with average Minnesotans and even more threatening to the health and safety of mothers and unborn children.

The second extreme abortion bill (H.F. 91) removes any remaining guardrails for abortions. This includes repealing the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. It also strikes any abortion reporting requirements left in place from the Doe v Minnesota opinion over the summer.

Again, this bill is even more heinous than the one House Democrats passed last week. It has not reached the floor yet, but the majority is moving it through the process and could bring it up for final passage soon.

I’ll keep you posted as I continue standing in strong opposition to these proposals. Meanwhile, your input always is provided.