2017 MN Legislature
As outlined in our Policy Framework
, CEE advances policies to maximize overall benefits and reduce adverse consequences associated with energy production, delivery, and consumption. Below are key legislative initiatives we're working on in the 2017 Minnesota legislative session.
HF2278: Exemption of small municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives from the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP)
Status: Included in the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill.
Legislation would exempt municipal electric utilities with less than 1,000 retail customers and electric cooperative utilities with less than 5,000 members from CIP. If enacted, this exemption would impact about 10% of the retail sales attributed to municipal and cooperative electric utilities. CEE opposes this legislation.
/SF1088: Suspension of PACE financing to identify consumer risks and protections
Status: Included in both the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill
and the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill
Legislation would establish a stakeholder group to assess and develop recommendations for appropriate consumer protections to implement PACE financing in Minnesota. CEE supports this legislation.
HF234: Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulation of municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives
Status: Vetoed by Governor Dayton, March 20, 2017. Included in the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill
Legislation calls for local control to resolve disputes between electric cooperative utilities and their members, rather than deferring to the PUC. CEE supports this legislation.
: Modifications to the PUC selection process
Status: Included in the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance and Policy Omnibus Bill
Legislation would remove appointment authority from the Governor and rotate it between the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, the Majority and Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Governor. Right now, Minnesota’s commissioners are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate, and the current PUC is easily the best commission we’ve seen in Minnesota and is widely considered to be one of the best in the nation. CEE opposes this legislation.
SF1937: Funding for the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the PUC in the omnibus energy bill.
Status: Both the House and Senate omnibus energy bills passed off the floor. The next step is to for the bills to be heard in a joint House/Senate conference committee so both bodies can work out differences on their bills. The negotiated bills — or “conference reports” — will then be sent to the Governor for signature or veto.
The Senate omnibus energy bill would fund the DOC Division of Energy Resources (DER) and the PUC at the Governor’s two-year base budget estimates. The House bill includes appropriations well below the Governor’s requests. CEE supports adequate funding for both the DOC and the PUC.
: Appropriation of environment and natural resources trust fund money.
Status: CEE’s project proposal was removed from the House bill in committee; the Senate version of the bill includes CEE’s project. The next steps for the bills are the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees.
In 2015, the Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) recommended funding for a clean energy geo-targeting project proposed by CEE. Both last year and again this year, the House stripped the provision from the LCCMR bill, along with a number of other climate and clean energy provisions. The Senate supports the proposal and CEE is working to have the House accept the Senate language for the project.
HF113: Natural gas combined cycle electric generation plant construction and operation
Status: Approved by Governor Dayton, February 28, 2017.
Legislation allows Xcel Energy to replace a portion of capacity from retiring coal units at its Sherco plant in Becker, Minnesota, with gas-fired generation. CEE supported this legislation.
Read our blog posts to learn more about CEE's policy positions
Minnesota Energy Dockets