To the Editor:

I’ve lived in Maple Grove for almost three decades. I’m a Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer and an active member of my church. I believe that most Minnesotans agree, no matter what we look like, where we came from, or where we live, all Minnesotans deserve clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate. Now is the time to tackle the climate crisis.

I was heartened by Representative Kristin Bahner and the House leadership actions addressing climate change. But negotiations over Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources budget have come to a standstill in the Senate. Initially, the Senate GOP tried to strip the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) of their constitutional authority to regulate sources of pollution. Then, after public pushback, they adjusted their terms and demanded that the MPCA’s rule to make clean cars available to the public be delayed for two years and threatened to close Minnesota State Parks (and the Minnesota Zoo and Science Museum) by holding the state’s natural resources budget hostage. The pollution control agency is trying to do its job, providing common-sense climate and environmental solutions that are in line with what most Minnesotans want and support. We love our state parks, from the rolling prairie at Glacial Lakes to the rapids at Jay Cook, to the agates at Moose Lake, they are places where memories are made.

Our GOP legislators are proving that, once again, they are willing to ignore the needs of Minnesotans while pandering to their corporate donors in the fossil fuel industry. They’re threatening to close state parks when families are set to finally get outdoors and celebrate together; just that threat adds uncertainty and harms the recovery of our tourism industry and Greater Minnesota’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession.

We know we need to change course for a flourishing planet and a healthy Minnesota. The climate crisis needs to be dealt with now, and we don’t have time for self-serving political games. The majority of Minnesotans support Clean Energy. It’s time for the Senate to govern on behalf of the people. Senator Limmer, are you listening?

Laura Feierabend

Maple Grove

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