Issue Position: Environment & Conservation
Environmental stewardship is part of Minnesota's heritage - and it's part of my own family heritage too. Like most Minnesotans, I grew up in a family that values the outdoors. My grandfather from northern Minnesota was an avid hunter. My dad is a bicyclist, mountain climber and all-around outdoorsman, and my mom has always liked to fish and hike. I remember packing up our family car as a young girl and heading up north and out west for our camping trips I never took a vacation growing up the didn't involve a tent or a cabin.
We need to protect this natural land, water and habitat so that our children and their children can experience it just as we once did.
As Senator, and as a member of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, I believe a major part of my job includes ensuring that we have the right policies to protect the wonderful outdoors and natural resources we enjoy in Minnesota - our lakes, rivers and wetlands, our forests and prairies, our wildlife habitats and abundant farmland. These are all part of what makes Minnesota such a special place for everyone.
Enjoying the outdoors is part of what Minnesotans are all about. It is our responsibility to pass on this Minnesota way of life to the next generation with responsible stewardship over our natural resources and smart policies that allow our fishing and hunting industries to thrive. Responsible conservation policies are also vital to the health and prosperity of our communities. That is why I am dedicated to promoting responsible land use policies that preserve our farmlands, reduce flooding dangers, and keep our air and water clean.
And this is not only about Minnesota. It is about the earth's climate. There is now a scientific consensus that climate change is having a dramatic impact on our world. The potential damage and costs involved in global warming threaten to be overwhelming. At the same time the challenge of climate change presents opportunities. The United States must help take the lead in responding.
As Minnesota's U.S. Senator, these are my environmental and conservation priorities:
* Combat global warming. Reducing global warming is one of my top priorities. Every day, Congress makes decisions that have a tremendous impact on the American people and people throughout the world. Yet our decisions on climate change may well be the ones that have the most profound impact on future generations. After years of neglect, this new Congress is finally stepping forward and confronting this challenge. The science is clear about what must be done to combat global warming. We need to immediately and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a first step, I have introduced legislation to establish a national greenhouse gas registry. I am also fighting for a comprehensive approach that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the development of homegrown renewable energy resources and clean-energy technologies. This is a good opportunity for our nation and for our state.
* Protect our clean air and clean water. Minnesota has some of the highest pollution control standards in the country. I believe our federal standards should be equally strong. People throughout Minnesota are concerned about the negative impact of mercury contamination and other pollutants that affect our public health and natural resources. Because pollution does not stop at state lines, we need stronger federal standards to match Minnesota's.
* Strengthen our water infrastructure. Providing communities with clean drinking water and flood protection is critical. Across Minnesota, many rural communities are unable to shoulder the financial burden of upgrading or reconstructing key infrastructure projects. While in Washington, I will make sure that we invest in the proper infrastructure to keep communities strong and help them continue to grow.
* Protect the Great Lakes. Minnesota is home to Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes and the largest freshwater lake in the world. Lake Superior and the Great Lakes as a whole are vital to Minnesota's environment and economy. It is imperative that we keep our shipping industry moving while pursuing responsible dredging policies that keep our waters clean, and clear of invasive species. Working with members from both parties, I have secured funds to keep invasive Asian Carp out of Minnesota's rivers and lakes.
* Preserve open spaces and native wildlife. I will fight for land use policies that preserve our open spaces, farmlands and hunting lands while protecting vital wetlands - so we can maintain important wildlife habitats and reduce flooding dangers.