Glad to see justice once again prevailed on Line 3 as this week a state appeals court denied a motion for a stay on project construction. Significant progress already is being made on replacing the old pipeline and it is good to see this work will continue. I’m sure we’ll see additional efforts by environmental extremists to shut this thing down, but the court’s decision once again illustrates Line 3 meets the rigorous standards it underwent in an exhaustive environmental review process.
In other news:
Input on bringing Calif. car regs to MN
In a recent email update I covered how the governor is using the administrative rulemaking process in an effort to mandate California’s auto-emission standards on vehicles sold in Minnesota. Numerous people have responded by asking what they can do to provide comments on the record since the governor is bypassing due legislative process by going through administrative rulemaking.
While this is no substitute for a complete set of legislative hearings where people can exercise their voice, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has scheduled a few public information sessions to discuss the governor’s push, including 3 p.m. Feb. 22-23. Click here for more regarding those sessions. Also, prior to adopting the new rules, there is a public comment period running through March 15. People can learn more or submit their comments here.
The House Energy and Climate Committee recently conducted a hearing for the Democrats’ 100% Renewable Energy 2040 mandate. The bill (HF 278) increases the existing renewable energy mandate to 55 percent by the year 2035 and bill creates a new 100% “carbon-free” electricity mandate to take effect in 2040. I oppose this proposal because it would raise energy rates on Minnesota families, reduce the reliability of our power grid, and continues to exclude key technologies like hydro and nuclear.
Minneapolis public safety
The governor conducted a press conference this week to discuss his proposal for a $35 million State Aid for Emergencies (SAFE) Account in anticipation of the Derek Chauvin trial that is set to begin in March.
As a supporter of law enforcement, I want to make sure they have the resources needed to respond to riots and unrest. A repeat of the failures by Gov. Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Frey that we saw last summer cannot be allowed to happen.
However, this proposal gives broad discretion on how the money can be spent. It does not require accountability on how it is spent. And it appears Minneapolis wants to use the rest of the state’s law enforcement instead of rebuilding their own police force.
Mayor Frey has indicated that Minneapolis is down 200 police offers from 2019. Actions by Minneapolis to reduce the size and defund their police department have consequences that are going to put Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in expenses. You can’t have it both ways, placating to activists by undermining your police force and then expecting the rest of the state to bail you out.
In addition, law enforcement has stated this bill doesn't address the safety concerns and anti-police sentiment that Democrats have bred in Minneapolis that make other agencies less likely to respond.
Face mask bill
I am hearing from a lot of people who are concerned about a bill (HF 604) which would require face masks be worn in a great number of public settings. This mask mandate would last until the CDC issues guidance that does not include a recommendation that face masks be worn to prevent COVID-19 transmission. While I urge people to take whatever steps they deem necessary to stay healthy, this bill goes too far. I cannot support the government writing into law that citizens must wear face masks.