Senator Janet Johnson of North Branch Dies

On the heels of the recent deaths of Duluth legislator and Minnesota legend Willard Munger, and Grand Marais renewable energy activist and developer Bill Haveland, clean energy advocates received a third sad blow of the sum-mer on August 21.

Minnesota State Senator Janet Johnson passed away August 21 from complications of a brain tumor that was just diagnosed in July. Senator Johnson, 59, was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1990.

She is survived by her husband Dennis, her three children and three grand-children.

Here’s a partial list of bills Johnson authored that became state laws supporting efficiency and clean energy: improvements to energy standards for building components; prohibitions of certain nonrenewable energy electric power generating systems; requiring the quantification of environmental externalities; sales and property tax exemptions for photovoltaic and wind energy systems; state preference for renewable energy in resource planning; requirements for wind power plant siting; and financial incentives for dispersed wind generating systems. Johnson was a key player in numerous other clean energy debates, including the landmark 1994 Prairie Island laws, and the 1999 negotiated settlement that led to the Renewable Development Fund.