CEEM announces Clean Energy Legislative Champion Award recipients; Senator Jason Rarick and Representative Zack Stephenson
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) presented its 2021 Clean Energy Legislative Champion Award to Senator Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) and Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) on Tuesday for their chief authorship and commitment to pass the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act (ECO Act) during the 2021 Legislative Session.
Passage of the ECO Act modernizes Minnesota’s most successful energy efficiency policy – the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). The ECO Act also provides additional opportunities for Minnesota families and businesses to save energy, lower energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These improvements bolster Minnesota’s status as a national leader in energy efficiency — already ranked #9 in the US and first in the Midwest, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Sen. Rarick and Rep. Stephenson authored the ECO Act in their respective chambers for two years and helped shore up bipartisan support for the bill which helped make its passage a reality.
“Passage of the ECO Act is an important and historic moment for Minnesota. The broad and diverse coalition that supported this bill’s passage – is a clear testament to the significance and importance of this legislation as our state continues to move towards a clean energy future,” said CEEM Executive Director Gregg Mast. “I’m grateful for Sen. Rarick’s and Rep. Stephenson’s joint commitment to this bill, and helping it cross the finish line this past spring.”
Sen. Rarick, a Pine City Republican championed the bill as a pragmatic step towards providing more energy solutions for Minnesota families. He released this statement about receiving CEEM’s Clean Energy Legislative Champion Award.
“Passing the ECO Act was a huge achievement, and I’m so proud to have championed a bill that will make a difference in Minnesotan’s pocketbooks and helped modernize an already successful energy conservation policy. Thank you to CEEM for recognizing this work, and for your partnership throughout this years-long process,” said Sen. Rarick.
Rep. Stephenson, a Coon Rapids Democrat secured strong support from colleagues making the case that the policy would help expand Minnesota’s national leadership on energy conservation – a key ingredient to lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the state. He released the following statement about receiving CEEM’s award.
“Enacting the ECO Act into law will save consumers money, create jobs, and protect our climate. It’s a win-win-win. Thank you to CEEM for your tireless commitment to this bill, it’s an honor to receive this award,” said Rep. Stephenson.
About Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business case for clean energy in Minnesota. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies.