Clean energy bill clears Minnesota House, heads to Senate

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Lawmakers in the Minnesota House of Representatives have passed a bill that would set new goals for the state and put Minnesota on a path to producing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

The bill, which would also ban importing energy from other areas that are made from carbon sources, was approved by a vote of 70-60 on Thursday and now heads to the Senate.

The debate over the bill lasted more than seven hours into late Thursday night, with several representatives sharing concerns over whether or not the state would be able to create enough energy under the new law. Republicans have, for that reason, dubbed it the “Blackout Bill.”

“We’re not going to be able to produce enough energy. That’s the cause of blackouts. And if in the state of Minnesota, we can’t produce enough energy or purchase enough energy, that’s going to cause blackouts here too,” said Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch).

Those in support of the bill say it makes Minnesota a leader in clean energy.

“Going to 100% clean energy will mean cheaper power, more jobs, better health and helping to do our part to confront climate change,” said Rep. Jamie Long (DFL-Minneapolis).

A similar bill passed in the House in 2021 but failed in the Senate.

Now, with DFL members having a majority in both chambers, supporters say the bill has a better chance of becoming law.

Gov. Tim Walz has also included the policy in his two-year budget proposal, which was fully unveiled this week.