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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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Release: House Transportation Committee Examines Climate Impacts on Transportation

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

St. Paul, MN – Today, the Minnesota House Transportation Finance Committee examined climate impacts on transportation in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

“It was important for our committee to hear the science-driven data from various climate experts regarding the intersection of climate and transportation,” said Chair Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis). “We must be intentional about the action we can take now to combat the effects of climate change for future generations.”

Climate experts and advocates in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors shared presentations to the committee, including: Frank Kohlasch, Climate Director of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy Inc., Co-Chair – MnDOT Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council; Bree Halvorson, with BlueGreen Alliance; and Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist and founder of Praedictix. 

After sharing data demonstrating significant and increasing changes to Minnesota’s temperatures, Mr. Douglas emphasized the importance of having a robust debate on climate solutions, not the science behind it.

Various recommendations were made from the experts to achieve greater resiliency in controlling greenhouse gas emissions. These include adopting 100% clean energy by 2040, prioritizing transit options, creating more incentives for electrification of vehicles, helping Minnesota households and businesses increase energy efficiency, and ending highway expansion to reduce congestion. 

The committee will continue its deliberations on climate and transportation with an informational hearing on electrification of the transportation infrastructure on February 18.

Supporting materials from today’s hearing can be found on the committee website.