Earlier this spring, Great River Energy—which provides electricity to 28 rural electric co-ops in Minnesota—announced they would close their only remaining coal plant several years early. The energy will be replaced mostly with new wind farms, including four in Minnesota. The closure will reduce Great River’s carbon emissions by 95% over their 2005 benchmarks.
Many Minnesotans are reconnecting with our local food systems during the pandemic and have begun growing gardens again. As a former farmer, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite things about our four seasons: growing food!
Like many across our city and state, we are grieving the killing of George Floyd. As an organization that envisions a world with clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate that are protected by all of us for generations to come, we also believe that each of us are only as safe as those members of our community who are most at risk.
Great News! Today, the Minnesota Senate voted to ban the use of toxic trichloroethylene (TCE) in our state. For over a year, Conservation Minnesota has been working with citizens, legislators, agency representatives, and other environmental organizations to phase out the use of this dangerous chemical in Minnesota.
After several weeks focused exclusively on COVID-19 legislation and policies to keep legislators and legislative staff safe during the pandemic, the state legislature is starting to begin work on some of their pre-pandemic priorities. A bipartisan energy efficiency bill known as ECO or the Energy Conservation & Optimization Act of 2020 (SF 4409 / HF 4502) is one of these priorities.
Today both the house and the senate energy committees will be hearing this clean energy bill and we’re hopeful both committees will vote in favor of the bill and move it to the floor.
Below is the letter I sent the Chair Osmek and the Senate Energy & Utilities Finance & Policy Committee on behalf of Conservation Minnesota and our members.
by Avery Hildebrand, Regional Manager - Southeast Metro
Minnesotans love our Great Outdoors, and we are willing to do what it takes to improve our favorite parks and open spaces. Dakota County is no exception. It is home to some of our most iconic examples of natural beauty here in our state—places like Lebanon Hills Regional Park, the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, Sand Coulee, and Whitetail Woods. As demand grows in Dakota County for more access to nature and parks, now is the time to start thinking about the future.
Though this is a difficult time for our global community and for us in Minnesota, we are so far doing our due diligence to flatten the curve and protect our neighbors. As Governor Walz said, we are used to long winters, and we are resilient. The field team has seen this over the past few weeks as we’ve reached out to our members to check in on how people are doing and how nature has been helping them through this slowdown in everyday life.
For the past three years, Conservation Minnesota has worked with partner groups to put on an annual Environmental Commissions Conference every April. There is a great deal of overlap in these sorts of issues from city to city, and also the potential for cities to coordinate, so commissioners and other interested folks get together once a year to share ideas, think about how to work together, and get to know each other.