Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How you live -- governor's environmental policy?

Describe in specific detail your governor's environmental policy.

If Mark Dayton, Minnesota's 40th governor, has an environmental policy, it's not well documented on his web site. A separate, independent, site, On the Issues, has quotations from Governor Dayton's service in Minnesota's executive branch, more on his votes as a US senator from Minnesota, but only one aspirational environmental statement as governor.

Minnesota's St. Louis River named to 10 'most endangered' list
Minnesota's St. Louis River named to 10 'most endangered' list
Photo by J. Harrington

Click here for 8 full quotes on Environment OR background on Environment.
  • Protect clean air to breathe & clean water to drink. (Feb 2013)
  • Development conflict comes mostly from miscommunication. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005)
  • Voted NO on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (Jan 2001)
  • End commercial whaling and illegal trade in whale meat. (Jun 2001)
  • Rated 79% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
  • EPA must do better on mercury clean-up. (Apr 2004)
  • Health impact assessments for environmental health. (Apr 2006)

renewable energy and organic foods have increased
renewable energy and organic foods have increased
Photo by J. Harrington

It remains to be seen whether the Governor's stated desire to protect clean air and water can be attained given the legislation he has signed. The recently ended 2015 legislative session has been described as "a disaster for those passionate about clean water, clean air, and renewable energy in greater Minnesota." It included the legislative dissolution of the independent citizen's governing board of the Pollution Control Agency and sufficient legislative interference with that agency's delegated authority under the federal Clean Water Act to prompt a petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw delegation of the water pollution permit program. On the other hand, if the Governor's initiative for agricultural buffer legislation is actively implemented, the negative water quality effects of industrial agriculture should be reduced.

A 2014 review of the Governor's 2010 campaign pledges found
"Governors aren’t only defined by what they run on, of course, and there were a host of big issues Dayton didn’t talk about in 2010 that he was either forced to address — or sidestep.

"The environment falls into the latter category. When GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson says that Dayton “is beholden to some pretty extreme environmental groups,’’ it may say more about Johnson than it does Dayton. In fact, Dayton has made few environmental initiatives. Much to the chagrin of people on both sides of the issues, he’s still waiting for more environmental impact statements on both the Polymet mining project and the Sandpiper oil pipeline before he’ll take a position." [emphasis added]

Sweet Virginia

By Michael Robbins 

I got a letter from the government.
It said let there be night.
I went through your trash.
There was night, all right.
I consider how your light is spent.

I have butterflies a little bit.
I have some pills I take for it.
I’ve been up since four the day before.
Agony’s a cinch to sham.

Don’t worry about the environment.
Let it kill us if  it can.
I give a tiny tinker’s damn.
I put the ox behind the cart.
Consume away my snow-blind heart.

Fastened to a service animal
it is waiting for the beep.
It is waiting for the right to change.
Hello, I know you’re there, pick up.


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