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Minnesota’s new ECO Act will help ease the burdens of energy costs on low-income families, including many people of color

May 28, 2021 Sahan Journal Andrew Hazzard A rare bipartisan bill aims to help Minnesota lower emissions while offering significant savings for low-income families, including many people of color.  Governor Tim Walz signed the Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act into law May 25. The bill modernizes the state’s Conservation Improvement Program, a long-term energy-…

2021 MN Legislature: ECO Act passes thanks to hard work, collaboration

May 20, 2021 Center for Energy and Environment Mike Bull Minnesota’s regular legislative session ended on May 18 with the biggest clean energy win since 2013, strengthening our most successful energy policy in state history. After six years of hard work and deep bipartisan collaboration, the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act (known as “ECO”) was…

Minnesota legislators agree on first major energy bill in years

May 18, 2021 Star Tribune Mike Hughlett The Minnesota House and Senate agreed this week on expanding the state’s energy conservation program, the most significant energy legislation in recent years. The Energy Conservation and Optimization Act should increase spending by utilities on conservation programs, particularly to low-income households. Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign…

Utility bills are hitting Minnesotans harder than ever

March 22, 2021 MPR Angela Davis and Katie Moritz There’s almost nothing the devastation of the pandemic hasn’t touched. That includes everyday things like bills and Minnesotans’ ability to pay them. During the pandemic, more Minnesotans have struggled to pay utility bills. The number of overdue bills in the state and the dollar amount of…

Xcel, environmentalists square off over planned gas-fired power plant

March 6, 2021 Star Tribune Mike Hughlett The rise of natural gas-fired power was long welcomed — or at least accepted — by both utilities and clean-energy groups. Gas vanquished coal, cutting both carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity costs. But to renewable-energy advocates, gas’ days are numbered — at least as far as building…

Xcel’s 15-year energy plan offers opportunities to address environmental racism in Minnesota. Immigrant activists are determined to make it happen.

February 26, 2021 Sahan Journal Andrew Hazzard Making 100 percent of the state’s energy carbon-free by 2040; protecting waterways to create more sustainable food production; investing in green infrastructure. These are just a few of the proposals from the DFL-led State House of Representatives that have environmental activists buzzing.  But a divided state Legislature–Democrats control…

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