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ECO Act and Clean Cars

(From the Conservation MN website) Before adjourning, the state Legislature did pass significant legislation that will help drive Minnesota toward a clean energy future. The ECO Act was passed by both the House and Senate and is now expected to be signed into law by Governor Walz.

The ECO Act of 2021—the Energy Conservation Optimization Act—is a bipartisan bill authored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City). ECO builds on the state’s successful energy efficiency plan, the Conservation Improvement Program. The legislation increases annual energy savings goals and raises commitments to energy conservation programs for low-income households. In doing so, the ECO Act contributes to emissions reductions, energy innovation, job creation, and consumer cost savings.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen has threatened to withhold environment funding unless Governor Walz agrees to delay the Clean Cars Minnesota rule by two years, jeopardizing the future of the rule and threatening progress toward reducing transportation emissions.

Meanwhile, note: The environment bill impasse threatens important funding for the state environmental agencies, including our state parks, the Minnesota Zoo, and the Science Museum. If a compromise can’t be reached before a government shutdown, state parks will close as we head into the 4th of July weekend.

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