Other Environmental Issues
Line 3. Line 3 is an oil pipeline taking tar sands from Alberta to a refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. You can learn more here: https://www.stopline3.org/#intro . It contributes significantly to global warming, more in fact than the entire economy of Minnesota. Like all pipelines, it leaks sometimes and contaminates water and land. It crosses Indian treaty lands and the Ashinaabe tribe whose treaty lands it crosses oppose it. Minnesota’s own Department of Commerce found our local market does not need Line 3 oil.
I oppose Line 3. Tim Walz supported it and allowed it. Tim Walz pledged to consult with the Ashinaabe tribe before acting to allow it, and the tribe feels he did not keep his word and did not meaningfully consult with them. Scott Jensen supports Line 3.
Copper/Nickel Sulfide Mining. Minnesota has a long history of iron-ore mining but has never had sulfide mining, which leaches toxic metals with sulfuric acid and is much more polluting and dangerous to our environment. Sulfide mining for nickel and copper involves extracting the ore with sulfuric acid and produces a waste laced with mercury and other toxic metals and with sulfuric acid, and that waste is proposed to be stored in earthen dams and the dams must last forever to avoid leaking toxic metals into Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Wilderness and other waters of our state. As you may be aware, nothing lasts forever. Therefore those dams will leak. The mining companies PolyMet and Twin Metals have already had leaks at similar mines in the world in recent years, so it is a certainty they will pollute the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior—the only question is whether it is in the next decade or the next century.
You can learn more about the PolyMet mine that would leak into Lake Superior here: https://www.mncenter.org/sulfide-mining. You can learn more about the Twin Metals mine that would leak into the Boundary Waters here: https://www.friends-bwca.org/sulfide-mining/twin-metals-mining/.
I oppose the PolyMet and Twin Metals copper-nickel sulfide mines in Minnesota. Scott Jensen supports them. Tim Walz has refused to take a position for four years.
Management of the dedicated Legacy Amendment and ENTRF funds for the environment. Minnesota voters in 2008 approved the Legacy Amendment, a constitutional amendment that increased the sales tax and dedicated these funds to clean water, parks and trails and the arts. In 1990, Minnesota voters dedicated a portion of profits from the Minnesota Lottery to create an Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF.) I support protecting those funds and insuring they are spent as the voters intended: to protect the environment and expand our natural lands. A citizen board reviews proposals for how to spend the Legacy Amendment funds and makes recommendations to the legislature. Too often the legislature has deviated from those recommendations. I would try to have more of those funds spent to acquire and protect new land in a natural state and a bit less on construction and adding buildings and trails and other improvements to existing parks and natural lands.
Promoting more sustainable agriculture. Minnesota is one of the breadbaskets of the world, and we can be proud of that and insure it continues for generations to come. I want to insure we have healthy soils, healthy waters, and healthy rural communities. I think those things can go hand in hand. We should promote organic agriculture, no-till farming, permaculture and farming with perennial plants (for instance apple trees), and sustainable agriculture in general. Those protect the soil, reduce soil erosion and water pollution, and in most cases require more labor on the land, which will increase the population of rural communities and improve the economic and social health of rural communities.
I support Minnesota’s buffer law that requires buffers of perennial plants along waterways to filter out nitrogen, phosphorous, and other pollutants: http://bwsr.state.mn.us/minnesota-buffer-law. It is one of the best laws we have enacted in the last few decades.
Clean Car Standards. Minnesota has adopted a “clean car standards” rule that requires that a certain percentage of cars automakers sell in Minnesota, starting in 2024, be low emission or zero emission. I support this. Tim Walz supports it. Scott Jensen opposes it and joined Republicans in being willing to shut down state parks to try to stop it! That’s right, he was willing to block you from going to a state park because he was having a hissy fit over the idea we sell more fuel efficient cars in Minnesota.
Wolf Hunt. I strongly oppose any wolf hunt in Minnesota. We are blessed in this state to have the largest population of wolves, the apex predator of North America, of any of the lower 48 states. To hunt them is the equivalent of hunting lions in Africa or Tigers in Asia, which we rightly abhor in this state. Humans should not be hunting predators. It is killing off the competition. There are plenty of deer in Minnesota to allow the wolves to have their share.
I would work towards the goal of having wolves restored to their entire native range, which is our entire state and the entire territory of the continental U.S. We need to share the planet with other species, and that means having wolves in every part of Minnesota.
Tim Walz opposes a wolf hunt now. Scott Jensen I’m sure supports one.
Clean cars and transit. I support electric cars, but I think some are going too far in calling for a goal where only all-electric cars are sold. In my view, plug-in hybrids that can burn gasoline or be plugged in to charge a battery are preferable. Electric cars require a half hour to recharge. So they are inconvenient if not unfeasible for driving long distances. They only work as a second car for those wealthy enough to own two cars. Also, the batteries require scarce metals that will become just as scarce as oil in the long run. So I would promote all-electric cars, but more so promote plug-in hybrids and fuel efficient vehicles in general, whether they are electric, hybrid, or gasoline powered.
In the long run I think the future of cars is fuel-cell vehicles that run on electricity that is produced directly from burning hydrogen or methanol, rather than charging a battery.
For transit, I would promote buses, particularly rapid transit buses and dedicated bus lines on existing streets in the Twin Cities and other cities and promote and subsidize bus transit between towns and cities across the state. That gets much more benefit and transports more people and can cover more routes than light rail in the cities or inter-city rail transportation.