We "Won!" A Legislative Session Recap

We "Won"! And, this year, by that we mean: we played some EXCELLENT DEFENSE. Little progress, but we didn't lose ground

On all 5 of the bad energy measures pushed this legislative session, the corporate interests lost. Read more on these five big-bad-measures (bad for local community ownership, bad for renewables, bad for treaty rights) below!

  1. Xcel's Nuclear Blank Check bill
  2. Disruptive changes to Community Solar Garden law
  3. The “Guilt By Association” bill
  4. Green-lighting Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline
  5. Restricting Solar Rewards funding

 

Here's the one POSITIVE thing we moved forward on, SF 3245, a stand-alone measure, which passed into law. This measure reauthorizes residential PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in Minnesota which allows residents to finance energy improvements or renewable energy via their property tax bills. The bill follows a task force appointed by the legislature in 2017 which determined adequate protections for participating consumers in residential PACE. Even though this removed the moratorium on residential PACE, the requirements placed on residential PACE are still quite restrictive. 

There were lot of organizations who supported the residential PACE bill which also includes an Amendment from Senator Scott Dibble which adds solar and energy storage as potential improvements that can be financed with PACE and it allows MHFA to integrate their loans with utility on-bill-repayment programs.


 

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Minneapolis Green Zones Addressing Environmental Justice

Low-income communities, indigenous communities and communities of color in Minneapolisexperience unequal health, wealth, employment and education outcomes and  are also overburdened by environmental conditions such as traffic and stationary pollution sources, brownfield sites, blight and substandard housing.

 

The idea for developing a Minneapolis Green Zone initiative came from the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan Environmental Justice Working Group. A Green Zone is a place based polity initiative aimed at improving health and supporting economic developing using environmentally conscious efforts in communities that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution, as well as social, political and economic vulnerability.

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Climate and Energy Programming From the Franchise Fee Increase Announced for 2018

New and expanded clean energy programming for 2018 was recently announced by the City’s Division of Sustainability at the Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights, and Engagement (PECE) Committee meeting on March 26. See Link https://lims.minneapolismn.gov/File/2018-00343   Through a collaborative engagement process with the Clean Energy Partnership, the following programs totaling nearly $1,000,000 were selected:

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Minneapolis passes 100% renewable energy resolution

On Friday, April 27th, the Minneapolis City Council approved a resolution to transition to 100 percent clean renewable electricity citywide by 2030, on a unanimous vote. The resolution also sets a much more immediate goal of 100 percent renewable electricity for municipal facilities and operations by 2022.

 

 Minneapolis now joins 64 other cities in the nation who have passed similar 100% renewable resolutions such as Atlanta; Boulder, Orlando, Madison, Portland, Ore; St. Louis, San Francisco; San Diego; Salt Lake City. Minnesota is the largest city in the Midwest to pass the resolution and the third City in Minnesota after Saint Louis Park and Rochester.

iMatter speaking at Press Conference    

 

In addition to the resolution, Mayor Frey also joined the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative, which already includes nearly 200 mayors nationwide.

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Nuclear Blank Check bill gets House Hearing

There was no roll call vote taken at the April 16th House Committee Hearing on HF 3708, the fate of HF 3708 will be part of an insider process, perhaps being included as part of a larger legislative package.

       Some of the most important takeaways from the hearing:

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