With Identical Language, The Bill Goes Directly To Governor Walz To Become Law
Contact: Megan Wittman, email@example.com
St. Paul, MN – Last night, the Minnesota State Senate passed SF 4, which raises Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard and creates a Carbon Free Standard that would require all of Minnesota’s utilities to produce carbon-free electricity by 2040. The bill now moves to Governor Walz’s desk for signing.
Last Wednesday, Sierra Club and over 50 of our coalition partners through the 100% Campaign turned out over 400 people to lobby in favor of the 100% clean energy bill. The day after, last Thursday, HF 7/SF 4 was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives by a 70-60 vote.
About the Bill:
- Requires all Minnesota electric utilities to use only carbon-free energy by 2040, with five-year benchmarks as follows:
- 80% carbon-free energy by 2030
- 90% carbon-free energy by 2035
- 100% carbon-free energy by 2040
- Implements safeguards to ensure marginalized communities benefit from, and are not harmed, by a 100% clean energy transition.
- Prioritizes equitable development of clean energy and the growth of local, union jobs.
“Minnesotans have been demanding our state legislature to address the climate crisis, and this legislation takes bold actions needed to combat it. Clean electricity is the lynchpin for further climate action, so this legislation is a critical step towards achieving decarbonization across all sectors in Minnesota,” said Margaret Levin, Minnesota State Director.
“Minnesotans need and deserve clean and affordable energy. Wind and solar provide the cheapest price per kilowatt hour in Minnesota, and will continue to get cheaper. This bill will lower energy prices and hold energy companies accountable to provide their customers with reliable clean energy and good paying, family-supporting jobs,” said Patty O’Keefe, Organizing Representative.
“Passing this legislation means Minnesotans get to power their homes with renewable and affordable energy – resulting in cleaner air and water for current and future generations. Today I’m thinking of my grandchildren and that their future looks brighter because of what we accomplished,” said John Krenn, volunteer Clean Energy and Legislative Chair of the Minnesota Sierra Club.
Legislative Director Peter Wagenius testified earlier to the House and Senate energy committees to convey Sierra Club’s strong support of the 100% bill. He said, “How fast we get to net-zero emissions is as crucial as the goal itself. As challenging as they may be, decarbonizing electricity and surface transportation are much easier to decarbonize than other sectors like heavy industry or aviation. Knowing the challenges ahead in other sectors should lead us to be racing forward in electricity and surface transportation, where the path is clear and the benefits are overwhelming.”
In the remaining months of the state legislative session, Sierra Club will build on this win to fight for climate action in all sectors. Transportation is the #1 source of climate emissions, and along with the 100% bill, Sierra Club’s other top climate priority in 2023 is passing ongoing, dedicated funding for public transit, walking, and biking statewide. Sierra Club prioritizes equity in climate action to make sure we don’t continue our history of pollution disproportionately affecting Black and Brown neighborhoods.
Sierra Club will also push for expanding community access to solar, solar on schools, a frontline communities protection bill, and ensuring a maximized climate budget through state surplus and federal Inflation Reduction Act funds.