Insider: May 12, 2017

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Governor Vetoes Budget Bills

On Thursday, May 11, Governor Dayton announced that he intended to veto every budget bill the Legislature has passed – and some they have yet to pass – due to policy provisions and allocations that he finds unacceptable. The Governor plans to continue negotiating with the House and Senate leaders next week in an attempt to reconcile the budget proposals. The group of bills already sent to Governor Dayton (who subsequently vetoed them) by the Legislature includes the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill, H.F. 888. This bill contains provisions that are deeply disturbing to the Minnesotans we represent, and we have written to the Governor in strong opposition to the parts of the bill that would hurt Minnesota’s land and water. We are glad to hear that he vetoed this legislation, and that he shares our concerns about the pro-pollution policy unfairly stuffed in these budget bills.

As legislators and the Governor head into final negotiations, we know that it will take a lot of political will – especially from citizen pressure – for both sides to come up with a budget that works for Minnesotans and our Great Outdoors. So our coalition has been working hard to remind lawmakers that our citizens care about our land, water, and air. We’ve built on the momentum from April’s Water Action Day and led Water Action Daily events at the Governor’s residence in support of good policies. We’ve written letters to lawmakers on how these bad bills would harm Minnesotans. We’ve collaborated with partners on launching and promoting

There’s little more than a week left in this Legislative Session – but that’s still time for citizens to have an impact on this year’s bills! As Minnesotans, not as special interests, we need to tell the Governor and the leadership of the House and Senate that we should be making environmental decisions  based on scientists’ recommendations, not caving to whatever polluters ask for. We should be moving toward clean, renewable energy, not letting dirty tar sands oil cross threaten state’s most vulnerable water habitats. And we should be investing clean transportation and water, not making harmful cuts.

What do you think? If you want to join us in sending this message to lawmakers, read about our opportunities below. And if you’ve got some time, why not give the Governor a call?

     Advocacy and Events News                                                                               


Join us at Governor Dayton’s Residence for Water Action Daily! 

If you attended Water Action Day on April 19th at the State Capitol you know what a big success it was. Whether you made it or not, we want to offer you a chance to join the push to protect our environment. We need Governor Dayton to insist that legislation he signs this year protects our environment and clean water. You are invited to show your support for the environment by joining like minded people in front of the Governor’s Residence at 1006 Summit Avenue Saint Paul weekdays 430 pm to 630 pm and on Saturdays from 930 to 1130 throughout May. We hope to see you there! Click here to learn more and sign up!

#KeepMNClean Daily Action Website Launched

With the Minnesota Legislature’s session heading toward final negotiations between lawmakers and Governor Dayton, the launch of is timely indeed. Created by public affairs group Apparatus, #KeepMNClean posts brief daily actions that you can take to tell lawmakers to stand up for Minnesota’s Great Outdoors. Visit the website to learn how you can make an impact for our natural resources, and check out KeepMNClean on Twitter and Facebook!

Transportation Forward to Rally Transit Allies to the State Capitol Station

The Transportation Forward Coalition will lead a rally on the evening of May 16 to stand up for Minnesota’s transit systems in the face of threatened cuts from the legislature. The detrimental cuts and fare increases will hurt commuters and the air quality of Minnesota. This would have a devastating impact on the elderly, low-income workers, communities of color, people with disabilities, and all who depend on transit to get around. To voice your support for good transit in our communities, sign up to rally together here!

Featured Editorial                                                                                                                       

We can’t all live upstream

(From MinnPost, by Colette Hyman) — I once had the pleasure of working with a man named Phil, who was an avid fisherman. Between work and sleep, he spent most of his time fishing. He was by no means a political activist, but he always wore his signature baseball cap emblazoned with the warning: “We can’t all live upstream.” At that time, Phil was worried about how the nuclear power plant in Red Wing would affect the water and fish around the plant and downstream from it. Others shared his worries, in particular members of the Prairie Island Indian Community just next door. >>Read More.



MN350 Release: 20 Citizens and Tribal Members to Intervene Against Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline Project

Yesterday, May 11, 20 citizens and tribal members announced that they are filing legal intervention paperwork to oppose the Line 3 Replacement pipeline, a proposed Enbridge tar sands oil project which would carry 760,000 barrels per day of the world’s dirtiest oil through the Mississippi headwaters. The diverse group of intervenors shares a common goal: protecting Minnesota’s water, climate, and communities from the threat posed by this oil expansion project.
>>Read the full press release here.


Coalition releases letter condemning pipeline provisions in energy bill

Today, May 12, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership together with coalition partners and several other organizations sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith calling for a veto of the Jobs and Energy Omnibus bill as put forth by the Minnesota Legislature. As written, this bill includes an exemption for new oil pipelines, such as Enbridge Line 3, from the relatively weak but still important PUC Certificate of Need Process, removing a chance for environmental review. It would also reduce the ability of Minnesotans to have input on alternate routes for the new pipeline. Since the new pipeline would carry highly dangerous Alberta tar sands oil, a rigorous review of the proposal with citizen and scientist input is especially critical to protect Minnesota waters. >>Read the Letter.


Minnesota beekeepers win a round against EPA on pesticide approval

(From Star Tribune) — A Minnesota beekeeper has won a round against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a protracted lawsuit over a class of insecticides implicated in the decline of honeybees and other wild insects. A federal judge in California ruled this week that, in doing a regular review of the pesticides, the EPA failed to consider the potential impact of neonicotinoids on insects on the federal Endangered Species list, as required by law.“The EPA pretty much admitted that it had failed to do that in this case, so it was pretty hard for the judge to rule in their favor,” said Steve Ellis… >>Read More.

Loring Hives Give Students a Close Look at Bees

(From KSTP) — A group of Minneapolis third-graders got a hands-on look at the role bees play in the environment Wednesday. The students visited actual bee hives located outside the Loring Community School. Loring is the first school in the district to have beehives on school grounds. They are part of a partnership with the group Pollinate Minnesota.For the students, that meant putting on bee-keeping suits and masks before exploring the colony. Then sampling honey straight from the hives. >>Read Article & Watch Video Here.


Land Stewardship to help Winona County defend frac sand ban

(From Rochester Post Bulletin) — The Land Stewardship Project hopes to help Winona County defend itself. Last Wednesday, LSP filed a motion of intervention with the Third Judicial District Court in an effort to join Winona County in its defense of the ban on industrial silica sand mining, processing, storage and transportation in Winona County. The ban, which effectively ended the practice of silica sand mining for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing, was voted into place Nov. 22 after more than a year of public hearings and votes from the county board. “If allowed, we’d become a full party on the side of the defense,” said Johanna Rupprecht, policy organizer for LSP. >>Read More.

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The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) is a coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy, and protection of our Great Outdoors.


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