The 2019 legislative session kicked off just a few short weeks ago but progress is already happening! Clean energy is our shared future and Minnesota policymakers are advancing that vision. Next Tuesday, the House Energy and Climate Committee will be considering a groundbreaking 100 percent clean energy bill. After years of advocacy and expert testimony on this issue, we’ll be there to witness this pivotal moment. Please join us—and consider providing your own input on the importance of clean energy for Minnesota!
This exciting new bill is closely linked to a coalition effort, the 100% Campaign, which is helping people and organizations across the state to advance an ambitious clean energy platform. Fresh Energy is playing a big role providing policy leadership to the group effort. We are also actively working to achieve other specific state results by leading on four other key initiatives:
Beneficial Electrification Policy. To meet Minnesota’s existing greenhouse gas reduction goals, we must broadly—and equitably—electrify our economy. (Read my colleague Margaret’s latest piece for a full primer on what this means). We’ll be advocating for the introduction of a bill that would make “beneficial electrification” a state policy goal and provide a regulatory framework for evaluating progress on electrification.
Public Schools Benchmarking. Minnesota’s B3 benchmarking system, which helps local school districts input and track their energy usage, is available free of charge to all public K12 schools in the state. But roughly only 25 percent of schools are currently inputting their data. This bill would require all schools/school districts to enter their energy performance stats into the B3 system—building transparency and helping districts be more energy efficient.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The buildout of statewide infrastructure for electric vehicles is an important early step as we prepare for future rapid growth of electric vehicles, particularly along key corridors throughout greater Minnesota. Fresh Energy will pursue state appropriations for electric vehicle infrastructure in 2019.
Pollinator Friendly Solar Funding. The Governor’s recent report on pollinator protection included a recommendation that funding be identified for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) specifically to hire specialized staff in soil and land use management as it relates to solar energy and water quality. We’ll be advocating for this very important funding.
With a new Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and new leadership in the Minnesota House, the time is right to be bold and pursue an aggressive combination of state administrative actions, legislation, and local victories to meaningfully move the ball on clean energy and climate in 2019. Stay tuned for ongoing updates.