Environmental Caucus

DFL Environmental Caucus

DFL Environmental Caucus Endorses Rebecca Otto for Governor!

State Auditor Rebecca Otto on her property in Marine on St. Croix on Friday, January 8, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri)


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. 



How to write resolutions

Phil Adam, cochair of the DFL Platform Committee and Board member of the DFL Environmental Caucus, presented to us regarding how to effectively craft and submit resolutions to the DFL.    This is very timely since we are presently taking resolutions for the DFLEC to consider.   
The details of Phil’s presentation can be found here : Good Resolution Writing Slides  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fmc7UrqSVHKfGuZzGZ3FVcXJQE1VR0Eu
And here :  Good Resolution Writing PDF  https://drive.google.com/open?id=191Xpi13D3RoOn5yjSNWqhzKIJoYVO6KN



 Join the Caucus!

Contact us Dflenvironmentalcaucus@gmail.com
Read Our Constitution :    DFL Environmental Caucus Constitution

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Our Board

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