State of Minnesota Archives: on Environment


Tina Smith: Supports EPA agreement on St. Louis River contamination

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Stauber, announced the Environmental Protection Agency signed a $4.5 million agreement to remediate contaminated sediment in the St. Louis River Area of Concern on Lake Superior. "Lake Superior is also a vital component of our tourism and shipping industries," Stauber stated. "By investing in the health and vitality of the St. Louis River, we are preserving this national treasure for future generations to enjoy."
Source: Brainerd Dispatch on 2020 Minnesota Senate race Apr 1, 2020

Karin Housley: Opposes too much regulation & bureaucracy

Environment: Support Environmental Protection Administration cutbacks?

Smith: No. Says is fighting efforts to "roll back responsible environmental policy."

Housley: No position found. Opposes "too much regulation & bureaucracy."

Source: 2017-2018 Minnesota special election CampusElect.org Guide Nov 1, 2018

Tina Smith: No cutbacks to EPA; keep responsible environmental policy

Environment: Support Environmental Protection Administration cutbacks?

Smith: No. Says is fighting efforts to "roll back responsible environmental policy."

Housley: No position found. Opposes "too much regulation & bureaucracy."

Source: 2017-2018 Minnesota special election CampusElect.org Guide Nov 1, 2018

Jim Hagedorn: EPA regulations are invasive toward farming efforts

An ongoing survey of all of Minnesota's lakes and streams found that many bodies of water in the southern Minnesota district are polluted. But Hagedorn said he doesn't "buy that premise." "They don't give farmers credit for being good stewards of the land," he said. "I think we're doing just fine." Instead, he criticized the Environmental Protection Agency and Democratic officials for putting too many clean water regulations on farmers trying to make a living.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio on 2018 Congressional MN-1 election Oct 12, 2018

Pete Stauber: Can be a balance between mining & protecting the environment

Stauber supports Polymet's plans to mine near the boundary waters and is adamant that there can be a balance between supporting mining and protecting the environment. Stauber says technology used to prevent pollution will ensure the project is safe. He has been critical of moves that stall the project's approval process.
Source: MPR Minnesota voter guide: 2018 Congressional MN-8 election Oct 10, 2018

Jeff Johnson: Best stewards of natural resources are those who need them

Minnesota's economy was built on agriculture and natural resources. That's not to say that farming, logging and mining are the only parts that matter, but they provide the rock-solid foundation upon which many other industries have been built. Yet government is doing little but getting in the way of people who work the land. I know what a blessing our natural resources are and that the people whose livelihoods depend upon using them are better stewards of the land than any bureaucrat.
Source: 2018 Minnesota JohnsonForGovernor.org campaign website Sep 1, 2018

Lori Swanson: Won settlement for corporation to pay $890M for pollution

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. We need to protect these lakes--and our climate, rivers, forests, and other natural resources for future generations. We should reject the false choice that we cannot both protect our natural resources AND provide economic opportunity to Minnesotans. Lori has already shown the way. She secured the largest environmental settlement in Minnesota history when she got a corporation to pay $890M for decades of pollution.
Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website LoriSwanson.com Jul 4, 2018

Amy Klobuchar: Open PolyMet copper-nickel mine in the Iron Range

Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to the annual federal defense spending bill to expedite an exchange of Minnesota land between the federal government and the mining company PolyMet.

The land exchange is a prerequisite for PolyMet to build a copper-nickel mine--the first mine of its kind in Minnesota--near Hoyt Lakes, on northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range. Smith and other supporters say the land swap has benefits to the region regardless of mining.

Environmental advocates and other critics, however, have argued the amendment would remove an obstacle to the operation of a mine they believe will have disastrous effects on the environment in the name of temporary and limited economic gain.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2018 Minnesota Senate race Jun 13, 2018

Karin Housley: Unequivocal support for PolyMet copper-nickel mine

Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to the annual federal defense spending bill to expedite an exchange of Minnesota land between the federal government and the mining company PolyMet.

The land exchange is a prerequisite for PolyMet to build a copper-nickel mine--the first mine of its kind in Minnesota--near Hoyt Lakes, on northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range.

Smith's would-be general election opponent, GOP state Sen. Karin Housley, says Smith doesn't truly have miners' interests at heart.

In a statement, Housley accused Smith of pandering and claimed that she has come around to PolyMet now that she is running statewide and needs to secure votes on the Iron Range.

"From the beginning, I have unequivocally supported the PolyMet proposal--and the hundreds of jobs that would come with it," Housley said.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2017-8 Minnesota Special Senate Election Jun 13, 2018

Tina Smith: Open PolyMet copper-nickel mine in the Iron Range

Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to the annual federal defense spending bill to expedite an exchange of Minnesota land between the federal government and the mining company PolyMet.

The land exchange is a prerequisite for PolyMet to build a copper-nickel mine--the first mine of its kind in Minnesota--near Hoyt Lakes, on northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range. Smith and other supporters say the land swap has benefits to the region regardless of mining.

Environmental advocates and other critics, however, have argued the amendment would remove an obstacle to the operation of a mine they believe will have disastrous effects on the environment in the name of temporary and limited economic gain. Smith's would-be general election opponent, GOP state Sen. Karin Housley, says Smith is pandering, and doesn't truly have miners' interests at heart.

Source: Minneapolis Post on 2017-8 Minnesota Special Senate Election Jun 13, 2018

Paula Overby: Protect natural resources from exploitation

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Fight EPA regulatory over-reach"?

A: Oppose--Our shared natural resources should not be exposed to exploitation for the profiteering motives of a few wealthy investors.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Minnesota Senate candidate May 13, 2018

Jim Newberger: Fight EPA regulatory over-reach

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Fight EPA regulatory over-reach"?

A: Support.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Minnesota Senate candidate Mar 15, 2018

Jim Newberger: Get government & extreme environmental Left off our backs

I support the folks on the Iron Range in Minnesota and have authored several pieces of legislation to turn things around for the Range. We must get the government and the extreme environmental Left off the backs of the folks on the Range and stop oppressive regulations. I support President Trump's plan to put America first and buy American steel products. I support expanding and rebuilding our pipelines. I support opening up the Iron Range to tap in to the vast mineral wealth that God has given us. I can see a day where the Iron Range will become one of the economic powerhouses of our great nation. Senator Klobuchar has enabled the extreme environmental left. These folks have kept the Northeastern sector of our state in a bureaucratic choke hold for too long.
Source: 2018 Minnesota Senate campaign website JimForUSSenate.com Feb 22, 2018

Tina Liebling: Those who exploit resources should pay for any cleanup

We need not choose between jobs and protecting our environment. Minnesota cannot let corporate greed steal our children's inheritance.

Before we allow corporations to exploit our natural resources, we must make sure the environment is protected and that sufficient financial guarantees are in place to pay for any cleanup. After the fact, we must hold them accountable for any harm they caused. Too often, polluters have made their money and left the cleanup to the taxpayer. We Minnesotans love our natural resources and will have to stay vigilant to make sure we keep them.

Our children deserve to grow up in a healthy environment, whether they live in the city, the country, or somewhere in between. Clean water, clean food, and clean air should be their birthright.

Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website TinaLiebling.com May 2, 2017

Jason Lewis: EPA WOTUS rule diminishes property rights

Government regulations are strangling agriculture. First, The EPA and Army Corps' 'Waters of the USA' rule or WOTUS is recklessly diminishing property rights by including very small streams, rivers and 'wetlands' that may flow seasonally for federal jurisdiction. In some cases, ordinary plowing has been seen as a violation of the Clean Water Act. This must stop. Second, as the third-largest exporting state in the nation, we need trade deals that remove barriers to Minnesota agribusiness exports--giving our farmers access to the international marketplace and unlocking every existing avenue that will result in economic growth right here at home. Finally, I am committed to true tax reform that includes helping hardworking farmers--who have spent their lives building their business and paying taxes every step of the way--pass on the family company without burdensome regulations and taxes.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website JasonLewis2016.com Nov 8, 2016

Rebecca Otto: Home is passive solar, wind-powered, & superinsulated

Rebecca Otto may be Minnesota's "greenest politician," the StarTribune said in 2007. But the values of conservation are also the values that lead her to be fiscally conservative. She saves things and reuses them. Like old coffee cans full of nails that are perfectly good for reuse.

She and her husband Shawn live in a passive solar, wind-powered, superinsulated renewable energy home that they designed and built with their own hands. It's conservative in the sense of conserving: that old, cautious, prudent, careful, Minnesota value that Garrison Keillor talks about, where efficiency is a virtue.

Applying these conservative values to her work as State Auditor, Rebecca released a Best Practices Review on steps to best practices on how local governments can reduce energy costs. The report helped them be successful whether they were doing a simple lighting retrofit, or they were building a LEED-certified building.

Source: Minnesota State Auditor campaign website RebeccaOtto.com Nov 1, 2014

Al Franken: Ok the PolyMet copper mine only after 9-year review

On the controversial PolyMet copper mine, Franken said that while the region needs the jobs the project would bring, the 9 years of permits and studies before final approval is needed to ensure sustainable mining. "I can imagine how it can be frustrating, especially for the people who want those jobs, but the only thing worse than taking a long time to get this right is getting it wrong," Franken said.

McFadden called the project a prime example of government overreach and accused Franken of having been "Washington-ized" for believing 9 years of study was reasonable. "The fact that this has taken nine years and over $200 million in regulatory review is not acceptable," McFadden said. "It is crazy."

Source: Star-Tribune on 2014 Minnesota Senate debate Oct 2, 2014

Al Franken: Prevent invasive species Asian carp in Great Lakes

Asian carp are an invasive species that pose a major threat to the ecosystem and fisheries of the Great Lakes. The invasive carp have been traveling up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers for decades, and experts fear that if they reach the Great Lakes they will devastate the ecology and fisheries of the region.

Senator Franken supports immediate action to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, including the possibility of closing the locks in Chicago that could allow passage of the Asian carp into Lake Michigan. He is a cosponsor of the Stop Asian Carp Act (S. 471), which would direct the Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate action to prevent the potential entry of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. He also supports robust funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Asian carp management initiative to support strong actions to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Superior.

Source: 2014 Minnesota Senate campaign website, franken.senate.gov Sep 1, 2014

Mike McFadden: Develop our natural resources AND protect the environment

Sen. Al Franken's Republican challenger made a case for a power shift in the upper chamber, using the GOP's weekly address to bash Democrats' regulatory and education policies. Mike McFadden accused the majority party of failed leadership in the years following the Great Recession. "President Obama and Senate Democrats have had their chance to turn our economy around, but all we're doing is running in place. We can do better," McFadden said.

McFadden said the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have presided over a regulatory agenda that has stifled the recovery. He cited a major Minnesota copper and nickel-mining project that has been stalled while its proponents await approval from seven regulatory agencies, "which is crazy."

"I believe there's a better way," he added. "Through smarter regulation and a little common sense, we can develop our natural resources in a way that creates jobs and protects the environment."

Source: The Hill weblog on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Aug 9, 2014

Mike McFadden: Supports PolyMet mining project in Hoyt Lakes

I want Minnesotans in our Northland to know that while the DFL may be divided over the PolyMet project in Hoyt Lakes, I support it unequivocally. Environmental extremists who oppose responsible economic development along Minnesota's Iron Range now dominate the leadership of the Democratic Party of Minnesota. Long gone are the days when the DFL supported mining. The south Minneapolis activists within the DFL want to present a false choice to voters in which we can either protect the environment or create jobs. As a result, the Minnesota DFL did not include pro-mining language in the party's platform at its state convention two weeks ago. I know we can create jobs while protecting the environment.

The PolyMet mine in Hoyt Lakes is the perfect example of a project that will create jobs while still allowing us to preserve the natural resources that make Minnesota such a great place to live. Projects like PolyMet will put Minnesotans back to work and get our economy moving again.

Source: McFadden in Duluth News Tribune: 2014 Minnesota Senate race Jun 15, 2014

Mark Dayton: Protect clean air to breathe & clean water to drink

I want all of us, and especially Minnesota's future generations, to live in a healthy environment; in safe, inclusive communities; and with the same rights and protections as every other American citizen.

A healthy life starts with, and depends upon, clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, protected natural environments to enjoy, and a secure ecological future. No one can endure the severe droughts or floods of recent years; endure (or, some, enjoy) our milder, snow-scarce winters; lather on sunscreen to walk outdoors without being greatly alarmed.

Even more alarming is that our state and our nation are still not doing enough to reverse this path toward global catastrophe, before it is too late. The question is: are we progressing fast enough? Are we doing all we can to utilize other renewables, such as solar, and also to make Minnesota the best place to locate these new industries and their jobs?

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Minnesota Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Gary Johnson: Vetoed limits on number of pets people can own

At the baggage claim, I can't help teasing him just a bit. I ask, "So, have you ever been picked up by a crazy cat lady with six cats waiting for you in the car?" He stops scanning the carousel for his bag and looks at me, "Do you have six cats waiting for me in the car?" I laugh, assuring him no cats await him in my car.

This sparks a discussion of a bill put before him during his time as Governor. It sought to limit the number of animals a person could own in an attempt to stop animal hoarding. He vetoed the bill because people should be able to have as many pets as they can care for, and if the pets are not cared for, animal welfare addresses that. He notes that animal hoarding is a mental illness; no bill can cure someone of mental illness and this bill would have made that illness a crime. His views on illness extends to drugs. "Drug addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue," he says.

Source: Minnesota Pagan Newswire Collective Mar 26, 2012

Tim Pawlenty: Establish Great Lakes Water Resources Compact

Legislative Summary: HF 110: Great Lakes Water Resources Compact: The legislative bodies of the respective parties hereby find:Legislative Outcome: Passed House 97-35 on Feb. 1; passed Senate 57-3 on Feb. 15; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on Feb. 20.
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 110 Feb 20, 2007

Matt Dean: Voted NO on Great Lakes Water Resources Compact

Legislative Summary: HF 110: Great Lakes Water Resources Compact: The legislative bodies of the respective parties hereby find:Legislative Outcome: Passed House 97-35 on Feb. 1; Rep. Matt Dean voted NO; passed Senate 57-3 on Feb. 15; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on Feb. 20.
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 110 Feb 1, 2007

Tina Liebling: Establish Great Lakes Compact to protect public resources

Legislative Summary: HF 110: Great Lakes Water Resources Compact: The legislative bodies of the respective parties hereby find:Legislative Outcome: Passed House 97-35 on Feb. 1; Rep. Tina Liebling voted YES; passed Senate 57-3 on Feb. 15; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on Feb. 20.
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 110 Feb 1, 2007

Erin Murphy: Establish Great Lakes Compact to protect public resources

Legislative Summary: HF 110: Great Lakes Water Resources Compact: The legislative bodies of the respective parties hereby find:Legislative Outcome: Passed House 97-35 on Feb. 1; Rep. Erin Murphy introduced bill on Jan. 16 then voted YES; passed Senate 57-3 on Feb. 15; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on Feb. 20.
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 110 Jan 16, 2007

Jim Abeler: Establish Great Lakes Compact to protect public resources

Legislative Summary: HF 110: Great Lakes Water Resources Compact: The legislative bodies of the respective parties hereby find:Legislative Outcome: Passed House 97-35 on Feb. 1; Rep. Jim Abeler introduced bill on Jan. 16 then voted YES; passed Senate 57-3 on Feb. 15; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on Feb. 20.
Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 110 Jan 16, 2007

  • The above quotations are from State of Minnesota Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Environment.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Environment:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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