DFL Environmental Caucus Endorses Rebecca Otto for Governor!
The DFL Environmental Caucus today announced its endorsement of State Auditor Rebecca Otto for Governor.
“Rebecca Otto is a powerful voice for the environment and for a better Minnesota economy,” said caucus chair Veda Kanitz. “We wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for Governor of Minnesota.”
Kanitz highlighted Otto’s position on climate change as one important factor in the caucus decision. “Otto’s visionary Minnesota Powered Plan provides a clear pathway to address climate change, create good-paying jobs in communities across the state, and make Minnesota a leader in clean energy technologies,” Kanitz said. “It is an agenda for a new kind of prosperity, one where the economy and the environment work together.” Kanitz also noted the candidate’s broad appeal among caucus members: “One candidate, Rebecca Otto, rose to the top in our assessment. Candidate Otto distinguished herself with an in-depth understanding of the complex environmental threats Minnesota faces and what we must do to address them. Her long-standing commitment to living her environmental values gave added substance to her words, as did the fact that she put forward a concrete agenda.”
Otto expressed her appreciation to the caucus for its endorsement: “The impact of climate change is hitting far sooner and much closer to home than many of us ever imagined and we have a moral obligation to act quickly and decisively to protect our children. I look forward to working with the DFL environmental caucus and all Minnesotans to take on these major challenges in a way that benefits everyone should I have the privilege of serving as our next Governor.”
The Environmental Caucus endorsement process involved several steps, including the evaluation of candidate positions on transportation, social justice, climate change, clean water, agriculture, mining, and citizen engagement; and a review of voting records and websites. Candidates Rebecca Otto, Tim Walz, Chris Coleman, Paul Thissen, Erin Murphy, and Tina Liebling were considered.
February 5, 2018
Statement from Rebecca Otto, State Auditor and candidate for Governor on the PolyMet draft permits to mine:
Being just two days away from public hearings on the PolyMet mining draft permits in Duluth, I want to state my opposition to the draft permits.
The draft PolyMet permit to mine allows PolyMet to store mine waste in a dangerous, outdated way that puts people and water downstream at risk. I oppose the draft permit for PolyMet’s sulfide mine proposal because PolyMet has not listened to the public and experts who oppose the dangerous way it stores mine waste and the hundreds of years of pollution and the over $1 billion that is at stake.
The draft permit sets a $1 billion figure needed to reclaim the site and pay for long-term water treatment during the middle of proposed mining. However, reliance on bonds PolyMet has not proven they can acquire, failure to require PolyMet to update their financial feasibility study, and the low $2 million/year required contributions to the long-term water trust fund in the first half of the proposed mine mean taxpayers are not protected.
The draft permit assumes PolyMet will achieve an impossible level of capturing polluted water and use reverse osmosis water treatment for at least 55 years after the mine would close. Environmental review showed that water could be polluted for over 500 years. The NorthMet Environmental Impact Statement asserted PolyMet would capture and treat over 90% of contaminated groundwater, but the draft permit does not require it. If PolyMet does not capture and treat polluted water, people downstream will suffer from water polluted with arsenic, mercury, copper, nickel and other heavy metals.
The draft PolyMet permit to mine does not protect the public interest, puts people downstream at risk, and leaves taxpayers unprotected. As drafted, the PolyMet permit to mine doesn’t protect Minnesotans and should be rejected by the Minnesota DNR.
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Read Our Constitution : DFL Environmental Caucus Constitution
DFL Environmental Caucus Board
Veda Kanitz of Lakeville – CD2, Chair
Andy Hillebregt of Ramsey – CD6, Vice Chair
Karl Forsberg of Eagan – CD2, Outreach Officer
Kristin Larsen of Pequaywan – CD8, Secretary
Lawrence Sandoval of Savage – CD2, Treasurer
John Wells of Eagan – CD2, Membership Chair
Executive Committee including :
Philip Adam of Plymouth – CD3
Lori Andresen of Duluth – CD8
Shelly Christensen of Stillwater – CD4
Peggy Clark of Minneapolis – CD5
Heidi Edmonson of Eagan – CD2
Paul Hoffinger of Eagan – CD2
Grace Kelly of St.Paul – CD4
Dawson Kimyon of Minneapolis – CD5
Tina Krauz of Grand Marais – CD8
Barbara Mahowald of Savage – CD2
Deb Mathiowetz of Eagan – CD2
Chris Meyer of Minneapolis – CD5
Marcus Mills of Minneapolis – CD5
Lorraine Rovig- Northfield – CD2
Sandy Sandoval of Savage – CD2
Chelsea Skog of Eagan – CD2
Don Slaten -CD 2
John Wells of Eagan – CD2
Zachary Wefel of Minneapolis – CD5