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This state just dethroned Illinois as the No. 1 clean energy powerhouse in the Midwest: '[We'll] continue to lead the way'

The North Star State leads the way.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz swapping over to clean energy

Photo Credit: iStock

Minnesota, known to many as "L'Étoile du Nord," or the Star of the North, is earning its name by guiding the country in the transition to clean energy, Inside Climate News reported recently. 

Control of Minnesota's Senate went from Republican to Democratic in the 2022 midterms, creating a "trifecta" of control of the governor's office and both houses of the legislature. That shift appears to be good news for the fight against our planet's changing climate.  

A recent report by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University showed that Minnesota beat out Illinois as the most active state in the Midwest for both proposed and adopted policy changes for the decarbonization of the electricity sector.  

Decarbonization refers to the transition from dirty energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and water, and it's crucial to mitigating the effects of our changing climate. 

The Biden-Harris Administration's nationwide goal is to achieve 80% renewable energy generation by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. Federal incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act for states to transition from dirty to clean energy sources prompted legislators in almost every state to take steps to decarbonize polluting sectors like energy. 

The NC report listed 20 actions in Minnesota, most of which did not advance, but those that did include a 100% carbon-free energy by 2040 law. 

The energy sector is the largest producer of planet-warming gases, and Minnesota's clean energy legislation boosts its efforts to reduce pollution, allowing it to effectively address the nation's changing climate. While helping the planet, the legislation also creates jobs and lowers energy costs for Minnesota's nearly six million residents. 

Minnesota's good deeds have its leaders feeling good, too. Inside Climate News reported that Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director at Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota, said, "We certainly saw [Minnesota] Democrats coming into this session with a long and ambitious list of things that they wanted to get done, and they really accomplished that." 

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz agreed. "Minnesota will continue to lead the way on combating climate change and we'll create clean energy jobs in the process," The Minnesota Commerce Department reported he said. "This bill is an essential investment in our future that will continue to pay off for generations to come."

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