Meet the Legislators

Senator Nick Frentz (DFL, 18)

Senator Frentz resides in North Mankato serving his 3rd term and is the Assistant Majority Leader. For Committee Assignments, he serves as Chair of Energy, Utilities, Environment, and Climate, Vice Chair of Finance, Commerce and Consumer Protection, and Rules and Administration. Senator Frentz is an attorney with a B.A. from Macalester College and a J.D. from William Mitchel College of Law.

Representative Nolan West (R, 32A)

Representative West resides in Blaine serving his 4th term and is the Assistant Minority Leader. For Committee Assignments, he serves on Capital Investment, Education Finance, and Transportation Finance and Policy. Representative West is a videographer with a B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota.

Meet the Panel

Moderator – Walker Orenstein

Reporter, Star Tribune

Walker Orenstein covers energy, natural resources and sustainability for the Star Tribune. He previously covered state government and politics with a focus on Greater Minnesota and environmental issues such as copper nickel mining for MinnPost. Before that, he reported on the Legislature in Washington state for The News Tribune of Tacoma.

Panelist – Ernest Scheyder

Senior Correspondent, Reuters

Author, The War Below

Ernest Scheyder is a senior correspondent for Reuters covering the clean energy transition and critical minerals, as well as the author of The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power our Lives. Early reviewers are calling it an “illuminating” and “essential” narrative that reveals the complex choices facing our world as the energy transition accelerates. A native of Maine, Scheyder previously covered the U.S. shale oil revolution, politics, and the environment.

Panelist – Eric Pasi

CEO & Partner, Enterprise Energy

Author, CleanWave

Since 2007, Eric Pasi has been instrumental in helping communities meet economic development and sustainability goals with clean energy. He is the new leader of Enterprise Energy, a solar development company committed to a just energy transition, improving people’s lives and livelihood. Eric is also the author of the book CleanWave: A Guide to Success in the Green Recovery – an insightful journey through the past, present, and future of cleantech, while also providing actionable solutions for jobseekers interested in this field.

Panelist – Morgan Fritzinger

Executive Director, MN Tribal Contractors Council

Morgan is a proud Fond du Lac Band member, with strong marketing experience and currently serves as the Executive Director for the Minnesota Tribal Contractors Council. She worked for her reservation for 10+ years in various roles but recently started focusing on bringing awareness about the Indigenous Culture into the workplace and focusing on Native owned companies and advocating for their success. She has a strong passion for marketing/design, small business development and economic development. She also serves as a board member of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce and Jobs for Minnesotans.

Panelist – Julie Lucas

Executive Director, MiningMinnesota

Julie Lucas advocates for responsible mining of mineral resources in Minnesota that will “keep the lights on” as our nation undergoes a clean energy transformation. She earned her mining experience serving as the Director of Water Resources for Twin Metals Minnesota, a proposed copper-nickel mine near Ely, Minnesota and as the Environmental Manager of Hibbing Taconite Company, a Cleveland-Cliffs iron ore mine in Hibbing, Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and an M.S. in Water Resources Science.

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