Preserving a Healthy Environment

Minnesota’s natural resources make this a beautiful place to live. But air pollution alerts, polluted lakes and rivers, unsafe drinking water and more show we have much more work to be done. Our nation leading work on renewable energy is starting to fall behind and easy climate change solutions await investment.

A record of results

  • Diane secured the first state funds to help our communities plan for and respond to the Emerald Ash Borer which will ultimately kill almost 900 million trees across Minnesota. It came from the east faster than expected and now is quickly spreading out from the first findings in St. Paul and Minneapolis. 
  • Diane took on the chemical industry and passed the first in the U.S. ban on triclosan in antibacterial soaps. It is bad for our health, no better at killing germs than regular soaps, and U of M research showed it is creating dioxins in lakes and rivers across Minnesota. Diane first heard of this from an area resident, researched it and went to work. 
  • Diane helped pass a nation leading renewable energy standard and helped pass pro-solar and pro-wind legislation. 
  • Diane secured funds and policies to help restore the Mississippi River in our part of the city.
  • Diane helped push the conversion of the Riverside Coal plant to natural gas. There’s no more discussion of soot dusted laundry (and lungs) from residents nearby.

But more remains to be done

  • Energy conservation needs to regain priority. It is our cheapest and fastest way to reduce global warming. Yet because there is not a major profit center advocating for this, it has tended to get less of the attention it needs. We could reduce the energy footprint of our community dramatically with affordable finance for old home and business upgrades.
  • Governor Dayton’s leadership on statewide clean water initiatives needs strong support and an aggressive timeline. It is better (and less costly) to prevent pollution than to clean it up. 
  • The state should continue to partner with our city on Mississippi River restoration. Reversing our industrial past will reestablish the shoreline, natural habitat, and recreational opportunities along the Mississippi River in our area and give us the health promoting opportunities of exposure to nature, loop trails along the water, and reduced local pollution. Done right, it will give us amenities that other areas such as Southwest Minneapolis take for granted. 
  • Air pollution is directly tied to health and needs more attention. Asthma rates and other health indicators are all too high in many neighborhoods. It should not be acceptable that children and seniors are frequently asked to stay inside and avoid vigorous activity to reduce exposure to polluted air.