skip to main content

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Indiana struggles to reverse its high early death rate, a Texas sheriff recommends criminal charges in DeSantis' migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard, and Congress is urged to take swift action to pass the Rail Safety Act of 2023.

play newscast audioPlay

A bipartisan effort aims to preserve AM radio, the Human Rights Campaign declares a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and the Atlanta City Council approves funding for a controversial police training center.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

MN Joins 'Matching-Funds Game' for Clean-Energy Projects

play audio
Play

Friday, April 21, 2023   

Minnesota has taken a big step in unlocking more funds from Congress to secure clean energy projects.

The state was under pressure to come up with its share of matching dollars tied to a pair of major federal policies.

This week, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill creating the State Competitiveness Fund. It sets aside $115 million to help state, local, and tribal governments and other entities pursue federal grants for clean-energy infrastructure. Those grants are offered under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Anjali Bains, lead director of energy access and equity for the group Fresh Energy, said it means Minnesota can keep pace with other states.

"It's really critical," Bains stressed. "Not only if you're going to meet the climate and clean energy needs of our time, but also if we as a state want to stay ahead of making sure that we have the best and brightest talent, and the best and brightest technologies to actually get us there."

The matching funds fall under Department of Commerce clean energy programs, such as power grid resilience and home weatherization. The Democratic-led effort to pass the bill fell mostly along party lines, with some GOP support. Other legislation still being considered would provide matching funds in areas like transportation.

Courtney Johnson, mayor of Carver, said at a recent news conference leading up to the bill's adoption, her small city is just beginning its journey through the clean energy maze. She pointed out the matching funds will help them overcome hurdles which were otherwise too big.

"Carver is a small but growing community and at this time, there's very little room in our budgets for renewable energy," Johnson noted. "We also have a really small staff."

The State Competitiveness Fund includes resources for technical assistance and grant-writing help. There's also money for required reports and audits through 2035, with bill sponsors noting there is a rigorous vetting process in working with the federal government on this effort.

Disclosure: Fresh Energy contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Mars Veterinary Health study, nearly 41,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal health care by 2030. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

In Arizona, telemedicine is now not only available for humans but also for people's beloved animals. Last month Governor Katie Hobbs signed Senate …


Environment

play sound

Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch sits in a dramatic canyon in the foothills of southern Colorado's San Juan Mountains, right next to the Rio Grande National …

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Dakota officials are urging people receiving health coverage through a key public program to stay on top of their renewal if they are still elig…


According to the report, there was a 14% increase among Nevada seniors accessing high-speed internet between 2016 and 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Nevada has received an overall score of 43 in the nation for the health and well-being of its seniors in the state. According to the United Health …

Social Issues

play sound

A court hearing next week could help determine whether an eastern South Dakota mayor will face a recall election. Events are rare for this state…

A new measure in this year's report shows many older adults spent more than 30% of their income on housing. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indiana ranks closer to the bottom of U.S. states where you will find healthy seniors living than the top, according to a new report. …

Social Issues

play sound

The last day of school for Texas kids is typically one of elation, but for children in rural areas with high poverty rates, it also can mean …

Environment

play sound

Virginia environmental advocates are not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on the Clean Water Act. The ruling in Sackett versus E-P-…

 

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