Here in Minnesota, we care about the future of our environment. Passing 100% Clean Energy by 2040 will help migrate the impacts of climate change and create a safe climate for generations to come. Today, Policy Director Nels Paulsen presented the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee with the following letter of support for the passing of HF 7. This bill would get us on the path to 100% and keep Minnesota leading in clean energy.
January 18, 2023
Chair Acomb and Members of the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee,
We write today to ask for your support for HF 7 (Long), establishing utility standards that put Minnesota on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040.
At Conservation Minnesota, we’re dedicated to protecting the people and the places that Minnesotans love. We believe that the fight against climate change is central to this mission. By transitioning to 100% clean electricity, Minnesota can take responsibility in this global effort and mitigate climate impacts that harm local communities and their residents.
Globally, human-induced climate change has directly contributed to well-documented and worsening consequences for nature and people. Since the industrial revolution, the rise of high-emissions fossil fuels in energy production and transportation has led to irreversible climate impacts that are pushing environmental and human systems beyond their capacity to adapt. And while this crisis is global in scale, its impacts are also undeniably local. Right here in our state, Minnesotans are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate, such as historic drought, diminishing winter recreation seasons, poor air quality caused by severe wildfires, and much more.
It's time for our state to recognize and act upon the realities of climate change, if not to safeguard our world from a global crisis, then simply to protect the everyday Minnesotans who are suffering or will suffer from the consequences of apathy. In doing so, it’s time for solutions that take us forward, beyond fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable, affordable, and equitable future.
The transition to renewable energy is not a sacrifice, but rather an opportunity. Innovative clean energy technologies don’t just reduce statewide emissions; they present a pathway to electricity generation that delivers tangible benefits to community health, reduces energy cost burdens, and creates new, long-term job markets for Minnesotans. Alongside improvements to energy infrastructure, energy sources like wind and solar become more efficient, more affordable, and more reliable every year.
Already, some Minnesota’s largest utilities have recognized the potential of clean energy and have committed to 100% clean energy by mid-century. But to help prevent the worst impacts of climate change, we can’t rely on these commitments alone. Minnesota needs to create robust utility standards to effectively guide the state toward carbon-free electricity generation, and HF 7 does exactly that. We’re proud to support an affordable and just transition to clean energy by 2040, and we hope that you’ll join us by advancing HF 7 and protecting Minnesotans from the consequences of climate change.
Nels Paulsen, Policy Director
David Pelikan, Policy Associate