Climate Change

What's New


Big oil tries, and fails, to block an electric vehicle program in Minnesota

MinnPost 11/1/2019, Stu Henry

"We may have just seen the first skirmish in a war between Big Oil and clean energy in Minnesota. And clean energy won."

The economic irrelevance of Nemadji Trail Energy Center is growing 

Duluth News Tribune 10/30/2019, Eric Enberg

"A better approach would be to simply pursue clean-energy portfolios, which would drop everyone’s electricity costs."


Suppressed USDA climate research details big impacts for Minnesota farmers  

MinnPost 9/25/2019, Gabe Schneider


Presidential Debates

June 10, 2019

Dear DFL Environmental Caucus Members, 


As you may have read, the Democratic National Committee has notified candidates that the DNC will not hold a climate crisis debate nor will they allow candidates to participate in such debates hosted by other organizations without facing repercussions from the DNC.  The DFLEC has verified the authenticity of this report.


The NY Times



The Hill

Today the DFL Environmental Caucus sent a letter to DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC Vice Chair Ken Martin, and to our delegation including Ron Harris, J.PBarone, LoriSellner and Elle Zagora asking them to support a presidential climate crisis debate.


We believe this crisis requires direct discussion of difficult issues, and we ask that you urge our delegation and leaders to support a presidential climate crisis debate. Please share this with friends.  Feel free to use our letter as a starting point in crafting your own.


Executive Committee 

DFL Environmental Caucus 

Veda Kanitz, Chair

Letter sent by the DFL Environmental Caucus to 

Tom Perez <>

Ken Martin <>

J.P.Barone <>

Elly Zaragoza <>

Lori Sellner <>

Ron Harris <>


June 10, 2019


Dear Chair Perez, Vice-Chair Martin, Ron Harris, Lori Sellner, Elly Zaragoza, and JP Barone.


As you know, the planet is in a climate crisis, and if we don't talk openly about the issue, who will? We need our candidates to address this openly and provide meaningful solutions. The climate crisis is not a single issue. It is an existential threat that permeates all others and a pervasive economic force that will shape the national agenda for decades. It is a global threat to our national security and the premier health and environmental concern of the century. It is a moral issue that will test the ability of candidates and elected officials to lead.


Thanks to the willful ignorance and dangerous actions of Donald Trump and his party, this is the first election cycle in which climate change and its effects will distinguish an election. Voters understand what is at risk. Democratic candidates know business as usual will not cut it. People know the issue will be, and must be, taken seriously. 


Indeed, Democrats do not need to debate the existence of climate change. We know it is a real and fundamental issue the nation must address now. 


But we do need to discuss and debate the solutions: We need to understand the near and long term threats to specific communities and plan for those threats. How can we harness market forces to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels? Do we need to embrace bridge fuels or should we concentrate on moving right to a carbon-free economy? What about carbon pricing, fee and dividend? And how can we make the benefits of this great transition available to every citizen?  We need to know what the next president believes with regard to these issues, what he or she would do differently, and how those plans would impact the public.  


There is, indeed, a great deal to debate – not just about specific solutions to climate change, but about how we can come together as a nation to secure the future our children and grandchildren deserve. That surely is worthy of debate.


Please help us put climate change where it belongs, front and center in the national conversation for selecting the next President of the United States!




Veda Kanitz, Chair

Environmental Caucus of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

255 East Plato Blvd.

More Information


NASA: Global Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports 

Global Warming: Theory, Minnesota Impacts and Solutions, a presentation by Veda Kanitz (PDF)

The Bad News about Climate Change

It is real. We are causing it.

Our climate has changed and we are to blame. There is no other credible scientific explanation for the warming or the extreme weather events that we see today. It is simply not possible to add carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at the rates we are doing without changing our climate.

Minnesota’s annual average temperature is rising at a rate of .5 degrees F/decade with winter average temperatures rising twice as fast as annual temperatures and overnight lows rising faster than daytime highs. High dew points also occurred more frequently in the recent decades and precipitation patterns have become much more extreme. For example, we’ve seen more storms with 3 or more inches of rain between 2001 and 2010 compared to 1961 to 1990 (71% more, to be exact).


We must act now to avoid the worst impacts


The Good News About Climate Change? - We know the solution.

Make the polluters pay and protect consumers!


We support legislation that puts a steadily rising, revenue neutral fee on carbon and returns the revenue generated to households in monthly or quarterly dividends.


Fossil fuels are relatively “cheap” because we don’t count the real cost of carbon. Pricing carbon will level the playing field and send a clear market signal that it is time to invest in renewable energy sources.  Studies show carbon fee and dividend is the most effective way to quickly reduce carbon emissions with 50% reduction in CO2 levels below 1990 levels in just 20 years. 5


Protect middle and low-income families

Returning the fees collected in a monthly or quarterly dividend will protect middle and low-income households from the increased cost of necessities as we make the change to a clean energy economy. While there clearly will be industries that are winners and losers, the net effect is predicted to be positive with 2.8 million new jobs created and 230,000 lives saved as a result of better air quality in just 20 years of carbon fee and dividend. 


HR763, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act with 35 sponsors including Representatives Angie Craig (CD2) and Dean Phillips (CD3)

See: Energy Innovation Act

Take Action

  • Call and write to your members of Congress and tell them you support Carbon Fee and Dividend

  • Get your city to pass a resolution supporting federal action to address climate change or support Carbon Fee and Dividend.

  • Collect signatures from others who support Carbon Fee and Dividend and share it with your members of Congress.

  • Talk to friends, coworkers, and neighbors about the benefits of Carbon Fee and Dividend.

  • Join the DFL Environmental Caucus and help us protect our environment by endorsing and electing representatives who will champion this cause!

We also support the following bills in the Minnesota Legislature:

  1. Clean Energy First


HF1956   |   SF2431

Electric utilities required to meet resource needs using clean energy resources, biomass definition as eligible energy technology modified, electricity-generating utilities energy proportion from renewable sources increased and target dates goals to be achieved by set, state energy savings policy goal updated and Conservation Improvement Program Modernization Act of 2019 established.


Chief Authors: Rep. Jamie Long (DFL) District: 61B

Sen. Nick A. Frentz (19, DFL)


Our Ask: Please support this bill in conference in Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division.


    2: Bringing Climate-Friendly Energy to Our Schools


Our Ask: Support these bills in the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division

(HF1787 & HF1788) and  Education Finance Division (HF1148 & HF1133) to help schools lower their carbon footprint. See Senate  Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy for SF2368, 2369 & SF2016 and Senate Finance for SF1424.


  1. Colleges and Universities Renewable Fuels Transition


HF1787 & HF1788   |   SF2368 & SF2369

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees establishment of goals and benchmarks for renewable fuels transition required, and money appropriated.


Chief Authors: Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL) District: 44B

Sen. Erik Simonson (07, DFL)

    Energy Conservation Loans for Schools

HF1148   |   SF2016 

Energy conservation revolving loan fund established in schools, and money appropriated.


Chief Authors: Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL) District: 39B

Sen. David H. Senjem (25, R)

     Solar on Schools


HF1133   |   SF1424 

Solar energy systems installation on school buildings by school districts grant program established, account and a reserve account created, and money appropriated.


Chief Authors: Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL) District: 44B

Sen. D. Scott Dibble (61, DFL)

March 2019

DFL Environmental Caucus

Copyright © 2018 DFL Environmental Caucus  255 Plato Blvd, St Paul, MN 55107. Veda Kanitz, Chair.

Prepared and paid for by DFL Environmental Caucus.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.