Fresh Energy Statement: Minnesota Senate makes energy and climate history

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On Thursday, February 2, 2023, the Minnesota Senate passed the 100% clean electricity bill, putting Minnesota back on the map as a clean energy and climate leader in the United States. The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Tim Walz to be signed into law.

“Minnesotans want clean, reliable electricity and the 100% clean electricity bill will deliver just that,” said Michael Noble, executive director of Fresh Energy. “Our elected leaders listened to Minnesotans and have stepped up to make history. We applaud the Minnesota utilities, our partners in labor, energy and climate advocates, and all Minnesotans who helped make this bill a reality.”

“Clean power generation is the foundation of a carbon-neutral economy,” said Allen Gleckner, executive lead, policy and programs at Fresh Energy. “The energy transition is underway in Minnesota and across the country and it’s crucial that the electricity we use comes from carbon-free and renewable energy sources. With this law and with new federal clean energy incentives, Minnesota’s utilities have the opportunity to soar higher and faster on clean energy progress.”

The 100% clean electricity bill commits all utilities to provide Minnesota customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, with reporting on benchmarks every five years. The Senate debated and voted on the version of the bill (House File 7) that passed the Minnesota House on January 26, 2023, and was authored by House Majority Leader Jamie Long (61B) with 34 co-authors. House File 7 matches the language in the Senate version of the bill, Senate File 4.

With the passage of this bill, Minnesota will join a growing cohort of states prioritizing their communities, natural environment, equity, health, and more by setting clean electricity generation goals. Already 51% of Americans live in a state that have committed to 100% clean electricity. Seventeen states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. have committed to 100% clean electricity and 29 states, three U.S. territories, and Washington D.C. have all enacted renewable energy standards.

Fresh Energy applauds bill authors Senator Nick Frentz and House Majority Leader Jamie Long, and members of the Minnesota House and Senate who voted “yes” to pass the 100% clean electricity bill. We also applaud the actions of the Senate Energy, Utilities, Environment, and Climate Committee, chaired by Senator Nick Frentz, and House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee, chaired by Representative Patty Acomb, for hearing the bill and passing it out of committee in January.

Fresh Energy is looking forward to Governor Tim Walz signing the 100% clean electricity bill into law in the coming days. A 100% clean electricity law supports the Walz Administration’s Climate Action Framework released in September of 2022 and will further codify Minnesota’s role as a leader from the north on clean energy and climate.