A few years ago, I visited Somalia to assist with aid relief there. Seeing drought and famine conditions made climate change very real to me. I am deeply concerned about the state of our environment and the world we are leaving for our children.
I will advocate for groundwater sustainability, reducing agricultural pollution and enforcing Minnesota's existing buffer laws to reduce farm runoff that pollutes our water.
In late February, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found widespread water contamination throughout the state, with nearly two-thirds of test wells revealing an excessive amount of harmful nitrates. Minnesota cannot afford to let this problem escalate any further, and I support Governor Dayton’s recent proposal to invest $220 million in our water infrastructure.
We also need to reach zero waste by maximizing recycling, composting, and product stewardship. I opposed the expansion of garbage burning at Hennepin Energy Recovery Center. We can find smarter, healthier ways to dispose of our waste.
I support the shift of public subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power into renewables — specifically solar, wind, and small-scale hydroelectric power. Shifting to renewable energy encourages local self-reliance, supports Minnesota jobs, protects our health, and reduces our contribution to catastrophic climate change. I support the expansion of Minnesota's renewable energy standards. Over the next 10 to 30 years, thousands of megawatts of nuclear and fossil fuel energy will be coming offline in Minnesota, as our nuclear plants and many of our coal plants reach the end of their effective life. This dramatic change gives Minnesota an opportunity to be a leader in renewable energy.
We can begin by working with the University of Minnesota to divest its endowment and assets from fossil fuel investments. We must initiate strong, community-based climate action now to ensure that our communities remain the same and our children are not left with a world damaged beyond repair.