Minnesota’s combination of environmental treasures, challenges and opportunities make the state a key part of ELPC’s advocacy to achieve environmental progress and economic development together. ELPC works in Minnesota to:
- Advance solar energy — ELPC is working to ensure that clean energy policies are designed and implemented well. In particular, the Value of Solar Tariff (VOST) policy represents a new approach to compensating a customer’s distributed solar generation based on the various environmental and societal “values” of solar, as opposed to the utilities’ traditional methods that fail to account for these values. Minnesota is an important test case for new and innovative solar policies like VOST can serve as models for other Midwest states.
- Protect and preserve special places like the Driftless Area and Mississippi River — ELPC is engaging local leaders to preserve the very special Driftless Area, the Midwest’s premier biodiversity hotspot, which covers the ancient landscape surrounding the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota. ELPC’s work on the Mississippi River is advancing better clean water standards along the river’s 10-state corridor.
- Advance high-speed rail — Minnesota is part of the Midwest High-Speed Rail Network, and ELPC has worked hard with local advocates to advance the route connecting Minneapolis-St. Paul to Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.
ELPC partners with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Fresh Energy and other state and local groups to achieve progress.
- Clean Energy – ELPC led the legal intervention to implementation Minnesota’s environmental externalities statue that called for environmental values, including carbon dioxide costs, to be included in the utilities’ electricity resource planning.
- Clean Water – ELPC’s legal advocacy persuaded the Federal District Court to issue a 2010 decision requiring the National Park Service to reconsider its sign-off for a large bridge that would have defaced a pristine bluff along the Lower St. Croix River on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. However, in 2012, Congress and the President signed a bill allowing construction after all. We are discussing potential next steps with our local allies.
- Clean Transportation – Minneapolis-Saint Paul is among the ten major metropolitan areas within a 400-mile radius of Chicago primed to benefit from the advent of a Midwest high-speed rail network.
For more victories, visit our impacts page.
Key program staff working in Minnesota
ELPC’s multi-disciplinary staff, Board and Advisory Councils work throughout the Midwest to help solve environmental problems.