As Minnesota lawmakers seek more oversight over how $47 million in Volkswagen settlement funds are spent, advocates warn bills in the legislature could cause the state to lose the money altogether. Attorney Leili Fatehi, owner and principal of the public benefit corporation Apparatus, says the consent decree requires that states follow a certain process in distributing money from the settlement and several proposed bills could negate the settlement. “It’s pretty reckless legislation,” said Fatehi, who would like to see some of the money spent on environmental justice initiatives to help clean up disadvantaged neighborhoods. The debate over who gets to hold the purse strings of the settlement money pits the governor’s office and executive branch against legislators who firmly believe they should – and will – have a say in which projects receive money. Fatehi said the tussle is being watched closely by the Great Plains Institute, Fresh Energy (which publishes Midwest Energy News) and other organizations in the energy field.
Today clean energy businesses and advocates will lobby the Minnesota legislature for the state’s first ever “Clean Energy Business Day.”
While the Trump administration retreats from climate and clean energy initiatives, a new report highlights states — including Iowa — that can provide a blueprint for moving forward.
Wind power represents more than 80 percent of the new electricity generating capacity built in the Midwest and Great Plains states over the past five years as the industry continues to grow, according to a report released today.
In Minnesota, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has emerged as the Democratic Party’s most outspoken proponent for clean energy.
The nation’s first ever attempt to have municipal governments collectively buy power from community solar gardens was a modest success, according to a new report.
The beleaguered Made in Minnesota solar panel incentive program — facing scrutiny from state lawmakers over its effectiveness — will support 73 percent more projects in 2017 than it did in 2016.
Clean energy groups won a victory last week after Minnesota regulators approved a long-range plan by Otter Tail Power Company that will double its investment in wind power and close a coal plant within the next five years.
The Minnesota Legislature is considering two bills that could add an $85 to $125 annual fee for electric vehicle drivers.
Last month a handful of students convinced the Grand Marais city council to adopt a “climate inheritance resolution” that could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the tiny North Shore hamlet, becoming the second Minnesota community to do so.