Thursday, February 2, 2023


Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.


Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Will 2023 Be MN's Big Year for Clean-Energy Policy?


Thursday, December 15, 2022   

Despite gains in certain areas, Minnesota is still behind its current goals to reduce carbon emissions. But those in the clean-energy sector see big opportunities in 2023.

Groups pushing for a quicker transition to these sources feel the upcoming legislative session could pave the way for key decisions to accelerate progress.

Amelia Cerling Hennes, director of communications and public affairs for Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, said all the market pieces are there for the state to jump into the fast lane that leads to more non-fossil sources.

She said that should compel lawmakers to adopt a revised state goal of 100% clean energy by 2040.

"That's an important signal to businesses in the state," said Cerling Hennes, "saying, 'Hey, we are committed to this.'"

Cerling Hennes said the timing is right, with clean-energy costs at record lows. And the International Energy Agency now predicts that in a couple of years, renewables will replace coal as the largest source of electricity.

Regional utilities have made efforts to help with Minnesota's transition, but wonder about meeting the proposed goal while balancing affordability and reliability.

In trying to establish more progress, advocates say the Legislature could help by updating building standards for new development.

Becky Wacker is an area manager with Trane, an HVAC and energy services company. She noted that in a colder climate, homes and buildings use a lot of natural gas for heat.

She said that contributes to these structures accounting for 40% of carbon emissions. But there's emerging alternatives.

"Moving towards the electrification of heat in Minnesota, the technology is here," said Wacker. "There's great technology around heat pumps, heat recovery chillers, etc. There's also great thermal storage options."

Wacker said federal policy, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, gives states more tools to work with in embracing these technologies.

Meanwhile, advocates continue to push state lawmakers to approve matching funds for clean-energy projects provided by the federal infrastructure law.

As for reducing transportation emissions, Minnesota is pulling together resources to add more electric vehicle charging stations.

But Cerling Hennes suggested that the state can still dip into its large budget surplus to create an even more enticing market for consumers.

"Putting more money to build out EV charging networks so that consumers feel like if they do get an electric car," said Cerling Hennes, "they can go anywhere in the state and charge because there is still that, kind of, range anxiety that exists."

Disclosure: Clean Energy Economy Minnesota & Clean Grid Alliance Coalition contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …

Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …


New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …

While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…


Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021