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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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?
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.
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