Beware of DFL overreach on envrionment

Countless small town newspapers around Minnesota have published articles, op-eds and editorials warning Minnesota Democrats that recent victories giving them complete control of state government should not lead to overreach on their part. Minnesotans voted in strong numbers for Barack Obama’s re-election and opposed the Marriage Amendment which swept the DFL back into full power for the first time in twenty years. There isn’t much stopping Governor Dayton from turning Minnesota into the most regulated, highest taxed state in America.

But early signs point to turmoil for average Minnesotans when it comes to DFL plans for regulating the environment. Following the election, Dayton’s administration began the process of organizing an “Environmental Congress” for next spring when they are expected to recommend many new environmental standards on top of our already stiff set of guidelines concerning sources of electricity, emissions, and government-sponsored renewables.

Gov. Mark Dayton and several of his sub-cabinet state agencies are holding joint Environmental Quality Board forum events around the state this month. These hearings are part of the MN Environmental Congress, a large public comment gathering initiative in which the DNR, Department of Health, Pollution Control Agency, and six other agenciesprovide a “report card”on the current status of Water, Soil, and Air quality in Minnesota, along with a politically-charged climate impact statement. In the climate report, humans are blamed for rising global temperatures, and this rise is linked to other weather events in Minnesota.

Multiple leftist groups from around Minnesota were notified to attend these meetings and provide input on where they think the state should act regarding environment. After attending some of these meetings, some of the answers were a little outlandish, such as doubling the gas tax, penalizing corporations for having a presence in Minnesota, banning all mining on the Iron Range, ending farming due to chemical impact, and banning all forms of coal – Minnesota’s main source of electricity. If these “recommendations” from the people are taken in a serious fashion to St. Paul legislators next year, we’re in a lot of trouble.

Besides the EQB work, Dayton’s Department of Transportation recently released a report on their proposals for funding transportation projects in the future. It, too, includes a possible gas tax increase along with higher wheelage tax limits and higher license tab fees. The incoming Senate DFL Majority Leader, Tom Bakk, recently told the media he thinks people ought to be getting “out of their cars” and believes driving is a “generational problem” that he’d like to solve by raising the price of gasoline.

We as Minnesotans have a right to independent and affordable transportation without overzealous government intrusion. That is a liberty we already pay for in extreme amounts through the burdensome license and insurance process.

We also have the right to affordable energy for our homes and businesses without the artificial arm of government forcing expensive renewable sources onto the market.