CEEM Legislative Update
“The End is Nigh! Well, maybe…”
We have reached the final days of legislative session for 2019. The House and Senate have both passed versions of energy policy. Those policy positions are in larger bills (called omnibus bills) which are linked to jobs and economic development, climate and other topics (known as H.F. 2208). The policy proposals are now sent to a Conference Committee- a select set of five representatives and five senators to debate and come to an agreement. Policy recommendations are then forwarded to leadership of the House and Senate for consideration.
As mentioned in our April CEEM updates, the two bills differ greatly. The House bill includes a package of clean energy changes proposed in the Walz-Flanagan “One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy,” which aims for 100% clean energy by 2050, prioritizing clean energy in utility system planning, and expansion of energy efficiency. The Senate approach differs greatly, and threatens market opportunities for both the community solar gardens program and for energy efficiency programs in areas served by municipal and cooperative utilities.
Both bills support important policies with bipartisan support, including CEEM-supported bills on:
- Energy storage
- Improvements to commercial sector property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing
Gregg Mast, our Executive Director, offered comments in the Conference Committee discussions, noting the importance of policy leadership: “By providing policy certainty and market-enabling opportunities for businesses, you’ll be doing the right thing for economic growth — and for all Minnesotans.”
CEEM continues to support nonpartisan policy leadership and highlights the following sets of data:
- Cost data from our State Energy Factsheet, showing the cost of wind and solar in Minnesota declined 16 percent and 23 percent respectively over the past year.
- April release of the 2019 Clean Jobs Midwest report, showing Minnesota is home to over 61,000 clean energy jobs.
It is important that legislators hear from the voice of clean energy business! You can always contact your legislator to let them know that clean energy is helping their home district. Here’s a sample of what to do if you contact your elected officials:
- Thank them for support of clean energy
- Let them know that your business is located in and/or do project work in their district (specific example of project, if appropriate)
- Ask that they continue to support clean energy as bills are considered this session
We would be glad to work with any CEEM members in coordinating outreach to elected officials on clean energy topics.
Feel free to contact Lily Osborne, our Manager of Business Development and Programs (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Benjamin Stafford, our Director of Policy & Public Affairs (email@example.com).
Legislators are required to finish all legislative work by May 20. In the event that work is not complete, a “special session” may be called to continue discussions beyond the deadline. Thanks to all of our member organizations and partners for the continued support and communication.