Energy and Infrastructure Are Key Building Blocks for Minnesota’s Economy

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Minnesota

Though Minnesota is not among key energy-producing states, the state’s economy and way of life rely heavily on energy supplies for power and as building blocks for essential materials and products.

To grow our economy and maintain our quality of life, we need to ensure that energy supplies can reach us dependably and affordably. That’s why it’s critical that Minnesotans recognize the need to build new and expanded energy infrastructure.

Two-thirds of Minnesotans homes are heated with natural gas. But the largest user of natural gas in the state is our industrial sector, including food, chemical, and building material manufacturers.

Natural gas is also a fundamental component for agriculture. It is a building block for fertilizer manufacturing, and grain drying depends on natural gas. Without access to affordable natural gas, leading Minnesota companies such as Cargill, General Mills, and 3M—not to mention many smaller companies—would face significant challenges.

Minnesota also serves as an important transportation hub—for fuel, people, and products. The St. Paul Park Refinery and the Pine Bend Refinery both produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel used in the state and shipped throughout the Midwest. These fuels help keep barges on the Mississippi operating and planes flying to and from MSP. But these refineries and their customers rely on energy infrastructure to keep raw materials and finished fuel products flowing.

The elections, as well as post-election discussions, have brought renewed focus on the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This year, we’re likely to see increased federal support for building and improving roads, bridges, airports, and rail. Pipelines and other energy infrastructure should also be on the table.

Investment in energy infrastructure projects like pipelines will come from the private sector—so no taxpayer dollars will be needed. But for these projects to move forward, we need the support of local, state, and federal officials. The supportive voices of Minnesota Energy Citizens can help make it happen.