The 2016 session is (mostly) over – with the looming potential of a special session hanging over our heads, it can be said with a high degree of certainty that all the Energy work is complete until 2017. This year it can be said mainly that “no news is good news” as we went into session with the intent of keeping legislators focused on growing our clean energy economy or absent a desire to do that, helping to educate them on policies that would hurt clean energy jobs and investment. There were a few areas of concern this session, for example and proposal that would have harmed Minnesota’s effort to design a state-focused Implementation plan for Clean Power Plan compliance, and a de facto statewide moratorium on new solar if tree removal was required. An energy efficiency law that would have permitted municipal and cooperative utilities to set their own efficiency targets at any number (including zero) was not passed into law, but work continued to address concerns raised by those utilities regarding their potential energy savings. 2017 promises to be a much more interesting year – and if this session was any guide – clean energy businesses have an incredible amount of work to do in the next 7 months with their local legislators -and the candidates who seek election – to ensure that they understand your concerns as businesses in an emerging industry. Unless they hear from you, you can rest assured that the voices in St. Paul that drive debate will continue to distort your contributions to your local and state economy. CEEM stands ready to assist in any way possible so that next year’s legislators have access to top-quality, local information direct from the source.
– Posted by Mike Franklin