BlueGreen Alliance | Labor Unions Join Environmentalists in Lauding Job Quality and Equity Standards in 100% Clean Energy Bill Passed by Minnesota Senate

Labor Unions Join Environmentalists in Lauding Job Quality and Equity Standards in 100% Clean Energy Bill Passed by Minnesota Senate

Groups Urge Swift Signing of Bill Putting Minnesota on Path to 100% Clean Energy by 2040

February 3, 2023

Labor unions and environmentalists celebrated the passage of Senate File 4 (Frentz)/House File 7 (Long), a bill to put the state on a path to 100% clean energy generation by 2040, in the Minnesota Senate. The bill previously passed the Minnesota House and now will head to Gov. Walz for his consideration.

“It is time for a 100% clean energy law in our state tied to labor and equity standards and we thank House Majority Leader Long and Senator Frentz for their leadership in moving this bill through the legislature,” said BlueGreen Alliance Midwest States Director Bree Halverson. “The investments we make today growing clean energy—making our homes and buildings more energy efficient and investing in our manufacturing sector to build what we need for a clean future here—can grow the good-paying jobs workers need to do more than just get by. This bill will deliver for workers and the environment and we urge Governor Walz to sign it.”

Halverson said the bill includes impactful measures vital to making sure this policy delivers for workers and the environment, including:

  • Standards to ensure the creation of local, high-quality jobs in Minnesota;
  • Recognition of the rights of workers to organize;
  • Leaving no worker or community behind as we shift to cleaner, more affordable energy alternatives;
  • Ensuring all workers and environmental justice communities can participate in the benefits of this law;
  • Emissions reductions to combat climate change and clean up our air—particularly in communities facing environmental injustice;
  • Keeping energy affordable; and
  • Encouraging new energy generating facilities in communities where fossil-fuel generating plants have been retired or are scheduled for retirement.

“The clean economy needs to be built by union workers and this bill is a step forward to ensuring that happens,” said United Steelworkers (USW) District 11 Director Emil Ramirez. “USW members in Minnesota are ready to get the job done. With the standards in this bill, we can grow good-paying, safe, union jobs and protect our environment for future generations at the same time.”

“The 100% bill is a historic bill to combat the climate crisis and build a clean energy future. Clean electricity is the lynchpin for further climate action, so this legislation is a critical step towards achieving decarbonization across all sectors in Minnesota. It will also magnify the impact of federal investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to protect the environment and create good-paying, family-supporting jobs. Sierra Club is proud of working together with BlueGreen Alliance and the 100% Coalition to pass this essential bill,” said Peter Wagenius, Legislative Director of the Minnesota Sierra Club North Star Chapter.

“This is a win for our clean energy future and infrastructure workers, including generations of LIUNA members who have worked and continue to work in the energy sector,” said Joel Smith, President and Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota.“We thank Senator Frentz for his leadership in championing legislation that ensures affordable, reliable energy access to residents and businesses, while creating thousands of family-supporting jobs for LIUNA members to meet best-in-class climate targets. As a result of the workforce and equity standards in this bill, new clean energy jobs will be local, well-paying, and safe for Minnesota’s skilled construction workers.”