A message from our Climate Program Director Ellen Anderson about the historic passage of the 100% Clean Energy Standard
Momentous news: the Minnesota legislature just passed the 100% Clean Energy legislation, requiring all Minnesota electric utilities to use only carbon-free energy by 2040.
This achievement has special resonance for me. As many of you know, I served in the Senate for 18 years and helped to pass many of our clean energy laws. We proposed the first renewable energy standard in 2001, and after numerous incremental steps, in 2007 we passed the 25% by 2025 Renewable Energy Standard with a nearly unanimous, bipartisan vote.
We met that target eight years ahead of schedule, and renewable energy saved billions of dollars for Minnesotans. Utilities, grid operators, and energy producers became experts in integrating renewable energy into the grid, maintaining reliability, and cutting costs. We also proved that policies with clear, reasonable, stepped targets make it possible to plan for and adapt to the future. The naysayers and purveyors of doom and gloom have been wrong every step of the way.
The passage of the 100% Clean Energy bill moves Minnesota toward a clean, carbon-free future — protecting our land, air, water, and people for generations to come. I’m proud of the support that MCEA gave to the passage of this landmark legislation, But it was thousands of Minnesotans who pushed for climate action, organized, and voted for climate leaders that made this happen. With strong legislative leadership, inspired by everyday Minnesotans, we have proven again that we can lead the Midwest toward a clean energy future.
There is, of course, still much work to do. We have a remarkable session ahead of us, with almost a third of its members new to the legislature, and new legislative leadership clearing the runway for legislative action on critical environmental and climate policy. In this wide-open sprint to get traction on long-delayed issues, MCEA’s subject-matter expertise and legislative experience is invaluable.
In joyful celebration of the 100% legislation, and recognition of the work ahead, I ask you to consider making an additional gift to MCEA. Help us move the needle on bold legislation that charts a course towards a better world.
Thank you so much and wishing you well.
Climate Program Director
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy