Energy & Environment

Minnesota Senate passes bill mandating carbon-free energy by 2040; bill heads to Walz’s desk

BY: - February 2, 2023

The Minnesota Senate late Thursday passed a bill that mandates Minnesota utilities transition to carbon-free energy by 2040. The legislation now heads to Gov. Tim Walz, who said he will sign it. The vote was along party lines 34-33, with all Democratic senators in support. Sen. Nick Frentz, a Democrat from North Mankato and the […]

Bill would sharply curtail turtle harvesting for profit

BY: - February 1, 2023

Minnesota is one of just a handful of states allowing wild turtles to be harvested, sold and exported for profit.  But that could change this year if the DFL-controlled Legislature succeeds in passing a total ban on the practice that’s been decades in the making.  “Turtles are one of the most vulnerable species in our […]

House panel considers 3 bills that would strictly regulate ‘forever chemicals’

BY: - January 31, 2023

A House panel took up three bills Tuesday that would more strictly regulate a group of chemicals that have been made by Maplewood-based 3M since the 1950s. 

Gas utility’s Minnesota hydrogen pilot ‘good news’ so far, but questions remain

BY: - January 31, 2023

A Minnesota gas utility says it is successfully blending “green” hydrogen into its natural gas pipeline system in one of the first such tests in the country. Since last summer, CenterPoint Energy customers near downtown Minneapolis have been burning a bit of hydrogen alongside the usual mix of methane gas in their stoves and furnaces. […]

New U.S. House Natural Resources chair opposes limits on fossil fuel development

BY: - January 30, 2023

The incoming chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee wants to allow more mining and believes technology — not limitations on fossil fuel production — is the best way to address climate change. As part of their organization of the chamber they now control, U.S. House Republicans selected Arkansas’ Bruce Westerman to lead the […]

USDA to use outdoors recreation to boost economy around national forests, grasslands

BY: - January 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture began planning this month to develop outdoor recreation opportunities near national forests and grasslands, part of a broader Biden administration push to help communities reap economic rewards from the growing recreation sector. Three USDA agencies — the U.S. Forest Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and […]

How did renewables fare during Winter Storm Elliott?

BY: - January 30, 2023

A day after Christmas, as parts of the country were still digging out from Winter Storm Elliott, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, undeterred by the absence of much concrete data, already knew where to cast the blame for rolling blackouts implemented in parts of the South to keep the grid from collapsing.  “While there […]

White House launches new push to help states remove lead pipes that carry drinking water

BY: - January 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday announced plans to speed up the use of infrastructure law funds to replace lead pipes in underserved communities, with a focus on Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin beginning this year. The four states, each led by Democratic governors, will be part of what’s called the Lead Service […]

Minnesota House passes bill mandating move to carbon-free electricity by 2040

BY: - January 26, 2023

The Minnesota House passed a bill late Thursday that would force Minnesota utilities to move to entirely carbon-free electricity by 2040, after hours of debate that sometimes strayed far off topic. House Republicans sought to derail the bill and score points with over 30 amendments. The debate— which lasted late into the evening — touched […]

Public lands near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters withdrawn from federal mining leases

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — After more than a year of assessment and debate, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday announced the withdrawal of more than 225,000 acres of public lands near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota from federal mine leasing programs.  Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed Public Land Order 7917, […]

North Dakota officials threaten to sue Minnesota if it passes 2040 clean energy plan

BY: - January 25, 2023

North Dakota’s governor and other top elected officials on Tuesday threatened a lawsuit in a letter to Gov. Tim Walz and other state officials over Minnesota’s potential move away from fossil fuels.   Gov. Doug Burgum urged Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and legislative leaders to amend the bills currently being considered […]

Lawmakers announce bills that would crack down on ‘forever chemicals’ made by 3M

BY: - January 24, 2023

Minnesota lawmakers announce legislation that would crack down on chemicals made by 3M that have contaminated drinking water for thousands of Minnesotans.