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Jesse Ventura on Environment

Former Independent MN Governor


EPA approved poisons in Gulf to disperse BP oil spill

I took my TV show (Conspiracy Theory) to New Orleans to look into Gulf oil spill. At that time, BP was applying a chemical called Corexit as a means of dispersing the millions of gallons of oil. A guy from BP looked at me and said, "Everything we've put into the water was approved by the EPA." I said, "So what?! Doesn't your common sense tell you that putting something in the water that has four lethal poisons in it, when you've already got all this oil, is not a good thing?" But his answer again was, "Everything we did was approved." That told me right there that the EPA can be bought and sold.
Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p.150 , Apr 4, 2011

Driven off his family farm due to development

On the surface, farm country never seems to change. Driving down through southern Minnesota, it had all looked pretty much the same as a generation ago.

But driving an interstate can be deceiving. Agribusiness keeps the big factory farms--livestock operations with thousands of cattle, hogs, and poultry--just far enough off the freeway so you can't usually see or smell them. In the area closest to the feedlots, you can barely breathe even if you roll up your windows and shut off the outside air.

We'd bought a 32-acre-ranch in Maple Grove in the mid 1990's, because Terry wanted a place where she could have her horses on our own land, instead of boarding them. We hadn't been living there long when I had to fight the county tax assessors to keep our farm status. They claimed I had another job. Well, many farm families have dual occupations.

The truth was, the government wanted to drive us out--because of pressure from developers. Eventually they succeeded.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 32-33 , Apr 1, 2008

Entered mayoral race because of water drainage issues

I had no political intentions until I ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN, in 1990. I did it because I was outraged about developers coming into the area where we lived then, aiming to make housing subdivisions out of the few remaining potato fields. Rubber-stamped by the good old boys on the city council, they demanded that our neighborhood pay for curbs, gutters, and storm sewers through assessments--none of which we needed because we all already captured rain runoff in ditches. Where they planned to put the runoff water only added insult to injury: Since pollution laws forbade the developers from draining it into the Mississippi, they decided to pump the polluted water into a beautiful wetland about a block from my house. This would have completely destroyed the wetland.

It was supposed to be a nonpartisan election. But the heads of the state Democratic & Republican parties came together and wrote a joint letter calling me "the most dangerous man in the city." I won, 65% to 35%.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 34 , Apr 1, 2008

Pushed for light rail in Twin Cities

Back in the early 50's, the Twin Cities had probably the best mass transit in the world. That is, until the automotive, gasoline, and tire industries lobbied successfully to destroy it.

I pushed for light rail because I saw it as playing an important role in the future. I went to Denver to study their light-rail system. It's the old wagon wheel concept; all the spokes lead to the city center, and those are your trains. The busses connect to the trains.

[For the Twin Cities], the idea was that the system would run for 11.5 miles, connecting the Mall of America to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to downtown. I found out that 60% of the people who live [along the route] can't afford to own a car. They'd now have the ability to get downtown or to the mall, and find at least an entry-level job.

I took abuse from talk radio show hosts who called the light rail plan "the big boondoggle" or "the train to nowhere." Their notion was, we have our cars, MN doesn't need mass transit.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.148-151 , Apr 1, 2008

Smart Growth with greenways and mass transit

Recognizing that growth will occur, communities should be shaped by choice, not by chance. That Minnesota will grow is given; how we will grow is not. “Smart growth” principles force tough choices about how we will grow and how the state’s resources will be used. It’s a mindset about incentives, not mandates. Minnesota’s resources should be focused on helping first those communities that are committed to sustaining existing development and enhancing our environmental resources through the development of greenways and the use of other tools to protect and conserve our open spaces. Smart growth is creating an environment in which farming and urban development can co-exist. Smart growth is fostering more reliance on transit and creating housing options that allow families to stay and invest in a community.
Source: The Big Plan: Healthy, Vital Communities , Dec 10, 2000

Recycling conserves our limited resources

Humans in general are very wasteful with our natural resources. Recycling is positive way to conserve our limited resources. We could be managing our current recycling programs better and more cost-efficiently than we currently are. We should be actively searching out effective and efficient ways to recycle the resources we are consuming each day. There is not a large enough market for products made of recycled materials, because the cost is still too high to make it competitively priced.
Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign , Nov 1, 1998

Teach environment in grade schools

Q: What is the best strategies to increase environmental understanding?

A: [I am] a longtime environmentalist and member of the Isaac Walton League. Education starting in grade school is the best way to teach anyone about the environment. Regardless of their location, schools can give students hands-on type of education about the environment and how it affects their lives.

Q: Do you support the ballot initiative for 40% of lottery proceeds to be dedicated to the Environmental Trust Fund?

A: Yes.

Source: Questionnaire from Environmental Education Advisory Board , Oct 15, 1998

Too risky to have large feedlots near homes

Q: What do you consider the most pressing environmental issues in Minnesota right now and how do you plan to address those issues?

A: The most pressing issue currently is the feedlot issue. I support the temporary moratorium that is in-place while the studies are being undertaken. We need to know what effect the large feedlots are having on our air, soil, surface and ground water. At this point it is unknown if we are subjecting Minnesotans to significantly increased health risks by allowing large feedlot operations to be constructed near homes. That is not an acceptable risk.

Other environmental issues that will need to be addressed in the near future include, Minnesota’s plan for managing the timber wolf, resolving the continuing disputes in the BWCA and Voyager’s National Parks, clear-cutting forests, management of old growth forests, development of green corridors, and regulations involving personal watercraft and snowmobile usage.

Source: Questionnaire from Environmental Education Advisory Board , Oct 15, 1998

Replace MTBE in gasoline with cleaner ethanol.

Ventura signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Ethanol 00-MGC1 on May 25, 2000

More state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups.

Ventura adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), otherwise known as Superfund, was created to clean up the worst hazardous waste sites across the country and to recoup expenses from responsible parties. Since the law was enacted in 1980, the Superfund program has caused significant amounts of litigation, while cleanup of hazardous waste sites has not been as fast or effective as the statute envisioned. In addition, states have not had the necessary tools or funding from the federal government to adequately clean up state sites. “Brownfields” sites—abandoned or undeveloped non-Superfund industrial or commercial sites under state jurisdiction—have gained increasing attention from Congress in recent years as passage of a comprehensive Superfund package has become increasingly unlikely.

NGA’s Position

NGA supports the reauthorization of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. NGA policy calls for more opportunities for states to take authority for cleanup of National Priorities List (NPL) sites, increased autonomy and funding over brownfield sites, and the concurrence of a Governor before a site can be listed on the NPL.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA15 on Aug 1, 2001

Support State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water.

Ventura adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has not been reauthorized since 1987. At that time, provisions were added to address nonpoint source pollution, pollution from diffuse sources such as runoff of fertilizers and pesticides, stormwater runoff, and sediment. Governors and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagree on the best approach to addressing the problem of nonpoint source pollution.

NGA’s Position

NGA supports the reauthorization of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (the Clean Water Act). The Governors support an increased focus on watershed management planning, including funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and nonpoint source pollution programs. States should have the flexibility to develop plans for attaining federally approved water quality standards in impaired waters - in consultation with local government officials and stakeholders - and to allocate responsibility for cleanup among contributors. The TMDL regulations should be revised, by legislation if necessary, to give states adequate flexibility, funding, and time to address impaired waters.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA9 on Aug 1, 2001

More EPA flexibility on interstate ozone.

Ventura signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Clean Air 98-MGC2 on May 12, 1998

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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013