GOP steps up attacks on Walz for ‘disastrous’ energy policies

Walz has called on Minnesota to adopt 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 after initially proposing a target year of 2050.

Gov. Tim Walz at the 2022 Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz/Flickr)

In light of predicted power shortages across 15 U.S. states, Minnesota Republicans are ramping up their criticism of Democratic Gov. Tim Walz over his “disastrous” energy policies.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) supplies power to over 40 million people living in the central United States, from Minnesota in the north down to Louisiana in the south. Reuters reports that MISO is warning of “potential capacity shortfalls and other reliability concerns” over the next few summers.

That means, according to MISO, there’s an “increased risk” of “controlled” power outages to ensure the system doesn’t fail due to higher demand and fewer resources.

Minnesotans have a significant chance of being affected by these outages, and state Republicans are not pleased with Gov. Walz’s energy policies, which they see as only exacerbating the situation.

“We already are paying sky-high costs for gas and energy, yet Gov. Walz continues to push for expensive policies that will drive up energy prices and threaten our ability to keep the lights on,” state Rep. Chris Swedzinski said in a statement. “The power grid operator in the Central United States is sounding alarms over the reliability of our system, but the governor is signing letters at the behest of special interest groups and has supported policies that would further reduce our base load power.”

Swedzinski was referring to a letter to congressional leaders that Walz co-signed last week. It called on Congress to “take immediate action” to address climate change and invest in a “net-zero emission future.”

“At the state level, we are doing our part by innovating and accelerating climate solutions. We are getting more zero-emission vehicles on our roads, rapidly transitioning to clean energy, improving energy efficiency, supporting overburdened communities and displaced workers, cutting harmful emissions, and strengthening resilience. But this is not enough to reach our country’s climate goals,” the letter states, warning of a “rapid transition we must all take.”

Swedzinski, who serves on the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee, said that Walz “needs to get serious making sure Minnesota has reliable energy this summer” and that “energy bills [are] affordable for Minnesota families who are already struggling with record gas prices and inflation at levels not seen in 40 years.”

Walz has called on Minnesota to adopt 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 after initially proposing a target year of 2050. His proposal is one part of a broader Democratic effort at lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann says Walz has “been behind” President Joe Biden “every step of the way” in his “war on American energy.”

“Their disastrous policies are making life more difficult for consumers. From rising gas prices and inflation to coming energy supply shortages, Joe Biden, Tim Walz, and the Democrats are doing everything they can to destroy American energy and make life more difficult for families and businesses,” Hann said in a statement. “This is further proof that we need to elect Republican leaders in November that will fight for commonsense energy policies that will bring relief for families and businesses.”

As part of its goal to fight “climate change,” the Walz administration has also adopted a rule forcing automakers to supply Minnesotans with more low- and zero-emission vehicles. However, that rule is being challenged in court.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.