House and Senate Republicans recently conducted a press conference to denounce outrageous abortion bills that have been put forward elsewhere around the country in recent weeks. I was proud to participate in the event as we made it absolutely clear that Republicans in Minnesota will stand on the side of life.
I strongly oppose the proposals we’ve seen put forward or passed in New York and Virginia that would legalize abortion up to the moment of birth. Virginia's Democrat governor even stated that after a baby was born and resuscitated “a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother” that seemed to suggest that it would be acceptable to allow the child to die.
As for other news, I am sure by now you have heard reports that four protesters were apprehended after breaking into an Enbridge pipeline valve station in Itasca County. This tampering is no simple prank, it is a criminal act that puts the lives of themselves, first responders and citizens in our region in danger.
If environmental activists are looking to create a cleaner planet, causing a disaster to occur would seem to be counterproductive to that mission. Prosecution in cases of pipeline tampering have fallen flat in the past, but we need to be pursuing charges to the fullest extent possible because the consequences of going light on these lawbreakers could be catastrophic.
Protesting is one thing and doing so in a legal way is an important part of free speech. But these illegal acts that put public safety in jeopardy must not be tolerated. Just last session, legislators approved a measure aimed at discouraging these illegal acts of vandalism but then-Gov. Dayton vetoed it.
On another subject, Democrats held a press conference this week to talk about a bill they have authored to move Minnesota to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
The assumptions and leaps the authors of the bill make in connecting the dots to 100 percent renewable will come at enormous costs to Minnesota families and businesses. It also would threaten the reliability of our energy grid, barring monumental advances in technology.
According to a study by the McKnight Foundation, even if we in Minnesota implemented such things as 89 percent electric car usage, 75 percent of homes using heat pumps and rooftop solar appearing on houses far and wide, we’d still only get to 80 percent renewable by 2050. This bill also would force the closure of power plants across the state, putting people out of work and damaging local tax bases.
This is the wrong approach. We need to let technology and the free market be the driving forces instead of using unrealistic assumptions to chase arbitrary dates that suit more of a personal agenda.
As for committee work, I am offering a no-net gain on public lands amendment to the outdoor heritage portion of this year’s Legacy bill. The bill was heard Tuesday in an environment finance committee and, due to bad weather and icy roads, I did not put out a request for people from our district to make the trek to St. Paul to testify. I expect this amendment to come up again in front of the Legacy committee itself and at that point we will be looking for testifiers from the area to appear. Stay tuned and I will be back with more on this another time.