Clean Energy Legislation Update

Note: The current health emergency means energy legislation may not be furthered this session.

Here are resources to help understand the major energy bills advancing earlier this session.

Two very different versions of “Clean Energy First” have been advanced by the Senate (SF 1456) and House (HF 1405).

MEP supports the House version and opposes the Senate version.

Top 5 Key Takeaways, from James Cignac of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

  1. Resource Plans: It’s good that the House version would add 100% clean or carbon-free to the utility resource plan requirements. It would be bad for the Senate version to restrict the 50-75% planning to only new energy needs.
  2. Public Interest Determination: The Senate version seems to skew the analysis toward fossil fuels and biases against renewables, while the House version would bolster the existing public interest criteria by adding a clear and convincing standard and focusing on affordability and reliability.
  3. Definition of Resources (Clean, Renewable, Carbon-Free): The Senate version confuses the state’s focus on true clean energy resources of renewables and efficiency by including several questionable or difficult additional resources. 
  4. Exemptions and Loopholes: The Senate version exempts two specific gas plant proposals, peaker plants, and market purchases that could lead to continued reliance on fossil fuels instead of a holistic approach to planning for a clean energy future.
  5. Overall Scope: The House bill includes several helpful components not found in the Senate version such as seasonal operations, better consideration of environmental costs, clarification of the policy of the state statements, transmission planning in advance of generation retirement, and the wind turbine lighting section.

Renewable Energy is Reliable – A fact sheet from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy