FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2023
Community leaders celebrate Minnesota signing 100% Clean Energy bill into law
Yesterday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the 100% Clean Energy bill into law. This bill will ensure Minnesota’s energy sector operates on 100% clean energy by the year 2040.
No matter where we live, the color of our skin, or how much money we make, all Minnesotans deserve to have clean air and water for our families now and for future generations. Our laws and policies should protect and care for the people and places we love. This legislation is not only a significant step our state can take towards addressing the climate crisis, but will also lead to energy that is safe, affordable, and reliable, while cleaning up our air and water, addressing climate equity, and creating jobs in the clean energy economy.
We applaud the Minnesota House, Senate and Governor for their work making this bill state law.
“Today we celebrate this step toward the clean energy future we know is needed if our planet has any chance of survival. Tomorrow we continue fighting against false climate solutions such as trash incinerators and carbon capture — and FOR a just transition to regenerative and renewable systems in the energy, food, transportation sectors and more,“ said Tee McClenty, Executive Director of MN350.
A wide coalition of Minnesota organizations were in support of the bill, including labor unions, business organizations, environmental and climate organizations, consumer advocates, and faith and equity organizations.
Here’s what they are saying about the bill’s passage:
“This bill will decarbonize Minnesota’s electricity system at the pace that’s required and take advantage of opportunities for cost-effective clean energy. Renewables are already the lowest-cost energy available in our region. This bill moves the state quickly to cost-effective clean energy, and it does so with crucial protections for consumers and the grid,” said Annie Levenson-Falk, Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota.
“Minnesota has already demonstrated we’re up to the challenge of decarbonizing our power sector and delivering economic benefits to all Minnesotans. By passing 100% clean energy by 2040, we’ve just ensured it will happen. Not only will this bill help us achieve state carbon reduction goals – it creates new business opportunities, strengthens our energy independence and security and finally, it mitigates risk. Today is a day to celebrate this historic win,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy MN.
“As the clean energy transition accelerates in Minnesota, in the Midwest, and across the U.S., businesses and investors need certainty and clarity about the path forward to manage risk and plan ahead,” said Deana Dennis, Senior Manager of State Policy for Ceres. “This legislation provides just that by helping to guide Minnesota to a 100% clean grid over the next 12 years and ensuring the state is able to meet its 2030 and 2050 climate goals. Ceres applauds Minnesota lawmakers for seizing this historic moment by approving a 100% clean energy standard and bolstering its position as a leader in building a cleaner, more prosperous, and more equitable economy.”
“We are excited that this bill sets a 100% carbon-free standard while including provisions to help us get there,” said Beth Soholt, Executive Director of Clean Grid Alliance. “It’s not enough to set goals. Good policy also enables the implementation of those goals. That’s why we advocated so hard for this bill to incorporate essential siting reforms for utility-scale solar and wind projects. The state has established carbon reduction goals and the best way to get there is through the development of more clean, affordable, reliable electricity. This new streamlined siting process makes Minnesota more competitive with other states and sets a precedent for efficient permitting that will spur our energy transition.”
“It is time for a 100% clean energy law in our state tied to labor and equity standards and we thank Majority Leader Long and Senator Frentz for their leadership in moving this bill through the legislature,” said Bree Halverson, Midwest States Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The investments we make today growing clean energy—making our homes and buildings more energy efficient and investing in our manufacturing sector to build what we need for a clean future here—can grow the good-paying jobs workers need to do more than just get by. This bill will deliver for workers and the environment and we urge Governor Walz to sign it.”
“100% is the biggest action our state has ever taken on climate – today is historic, but it’s just the start,” said Aurora Vautrin, Legislative Director of the 100% Campaign. “This law will lay the groundwork for decarbonizing other sectors, for building a more inclusive, more equitable, clean energy economy. The coalition that came together in support of this bill is a sign of the progress that’s possible when we unite around a vision of a future that includes all of us.”
“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.”
“Minnesotans were loud and clear at the ballot box when they elected clean energy majorities to both chambers of the legislature,” said Jenna Warmuth, Midwest Regional Director at Vote Solar. “The Minnesota State Senate delivered for their constituents by passing a historic commitment to 100% carbon-free energy by 2040. This victory is a win for Minnesota’s economy, public health, and natural resources — and an example of what’s possible when lawmakers honor the will of the people.”
“It’s time to celebrate the biggest action ever to address the climate crisis. We applaud Governor Walz and the bill authors in the House and Senate for their unwavering commitment and swift action this session to reducing dangerous pollution and protecting our Great Outdoors,” said Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota. “The 100% Clean Energy bill leverages our current momentum towards carbon-free energy while ensuring reliable and affordable energy for all Minnesotans.”
“Young people are excited to see the Minnesota legislature take the climate emergency seriously by passing the 100% Clean Energy Bill. Not only will this bill provide a clean, carbon-free Minnesota but it will also give young people all over the state hope for a just and thriving future,” said Tonyisha Harris, Associate Director of Communications and Partnerships at Action for the Climate Emergency.
“I’m extremely encouraged to hear about the passage of the Minnesota Clean Energy Bill,” said Fiona Murphy, student at St. Catherine’s University. “In the effort to slow the effects of climate change, clean energy is extremely important. I am so grateful for all of the legislators, students, and activists who have put in the hard work to pass this bill.”
“Climate change and carbon pollution are already affecting our SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa members who are frontline health care workers. From reducing emissions where we work to making sure we’re using clean electricity, our members expect us to be part of the solution,” said Jigme Ugen, Executive Vice President, SEIU Healthcare MN & IA. “Today, we’re taking an important step forward for our members and their families, the patients they care for, and the community. We are glad to be part of the coalition that made 100% happen.”
“Our members are excited about the 100% clean energy bill,” said Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Executive Director of Unidos MN. “Young people understand that climate solutions are about their future. It’s a future with new jobs in emerging industries. It’s the opportunity to build and own better homes with cleaner technologies. We can see ourselves in this future. Climate solutions are another way to make Minnesota our home.”
“The passage of the 100% Clean Energy bill takes critical action towards a clean, carbon-free future that will protect the health of our people and our land, air and water for generations to come,” said Ellen Anderson, Climate Program Director at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. “I’m proud of the Legislature for listening to the call of Minnesotans across the state and stepping up to the challenge and opportunity posed by the climate crisis by passing this essential and transformative legislation. We have been working toward this moment for more than a decade. Now is our time to prove, once again, that Minnesota can and will lead the Midwest towards a clean energy future.”
“We know that the solar, wind, batteries, and modernized grid supported by the 100% Bill will allow rural communities to strengthen the resilience and reliability of their energy systems and ensure affordable electricity while providing clean air, water, and soil,” said Sarah Mooradian, Government Relations and Policy Director for CURE. “The 100% Bill is not perfect but is the first of many steps. CURE looks forward to legislators heeding Minnesotans’ concerns and continuing to work together to ensure an equitable clean energy future for people across the state.”
“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, Sierra Club North Star Chapter.
“This bill is a crucial step toward Minnesota getting on the right track to secure healthier communities, bolster its economy and lock-in energy savings for households,” said Alex DeGolia, Director, U.S. Climate at Environmental Defense Fund. “100% clean electricity is a critical linchpin in a zero-emission economy. Minnesota leaders can build off passage of this bill to pursue economy-wide solutions to achieve the state’s climate goals.”
Harmon Abrahamson, Brooklyn Park resident and member of ISAIAH: “The 100% clean energy bill is important because it’s a step on a path that can lead to a livable planet for my grandchildren.”
Kathleen Doran-Norton, Bridgewater Township resident and member of ISAIAH’s Rural Organizing Project: “Three consecutive 200-year floods convinced my township we needed to mitigate flood damage to protect our community and adapt to changing impacts. But we cannot simply continue to adapt to greater and greater swings and variability and resulting damage. We need to fix the cause – reducing CO2 and methane from every source.”
MN350 is a statewide climate advocacy group with 30,000 supporters. We work to make Minnesota a national leader in a just transition to a clean energy economy. MN350 Action is its political and advocacy arm.