Your written comments are needed to point out corrections and improvements that should be made to Minnesota’s new “Environment and Energy Report Card,” recently offered up by state agencies for public review and comment. Please read on and submit your comments via the link below!
The State of Minnesota issued itself an Environment and Energy “Report Card” this past November on the State’s water, land, air, energy use, and climate. The Report Card will allegedly guide state policy on the environment and energy. The public was invited to six forums around the state, and well over 1,000 people showed up to provide comments on the Report Card.
The record of citizens’ input is being compiled from the abbreviated and sometimes not completely accurate notes written on flip-charts by moderators, rather than from citizens themselves. This is unfortunate because many citizens pointed out omissions, errors, and misleading information in the Report Card, and the loss of detail in the official record diminishes the effectiveness of the citizens’ comments. That is why it is important that you submit written comments in your own words online, even if you attended a forum.
Review the Report Card. (Note: the Report Card is an 8MB file)
And then submit a comment pointing out one or more problems that you see and asking that the final revised Report Card reflect your concerns.
Deadline for responding: Please take action by 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 15th.
Below are several examples of specific comments on the Environment and Energy Report Card. You likely will have others if you review the Report Card yourself. Note: please do not cut and paste the text below into your comment, because form letters carry less weight in the eyes of some state officials.
• General: while this was an opportunity to take a hard look at the challenges ahead for our water, air, land, energy, and climate, the Report Card failed to articulate a strong vision for the future.
• Water: the water section omits the fact that there has been a 1,000% increase (post-settlement) in sediment loading in the Minnesota River due to agriculture, and widespread increases in nitrate pollution of our waters, also due to agriculture. Omitting information about agricultural pollution leaves the Report Card’s own key questions about addressing non-point source (agricultural) pollution unsupported.
• Water, p.2, at bottom: the text of the last sentence trails off.
• Mining and Water: the Report Card fails to set forth ways in which Minnesota can measure whether water resources in proposed sulfide-metal mining areas are being protected.
• Energy: the Report Card fails to mention that Minnesota’s official goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the year 2050; incorrectly suggests that Minnesotans must choose between the environment and economy when it comes to energy; and fails to link job creation and economic growth to building renewable energy production capacity.
• Land, pp. 7-8: the land section of the Report Card emphasizes the acres of cropland currently enrolled in land retirement conservation programs, but makes no mention of the current trend – a sudden and rapid removal of hundreds of thousands of acres from those land retirement programs due to high corn and soybean prices; the resulting losses of prairie and wetland acres also go unmentioned.