Posted: 09/21/15 11:21
by Dave Mindeman
Last night at the CD2 Fundraiser, Rep. Rick Hansen announced that he would not seek to run for the 2nd District Congressional seat.
But he took the podium to make a much more substantive statement which pertained to money in politics and how environmental issues get shortchanged in the world of political attention.
He called money the pollution of politics. And it is. People encouraged Rick Hansen to run but the question asked most by the political people was "how much money can you raise?". They didn't ask about his stance on pollinators or clean water or air quality. They didn't ask about his admirable green record in the legislature. No, it was first about the money.
Rick has been a stalwart on environmental issues for years. Whenever air or water quality needs someone to speak out, it has been Rick Hansen. He isn't flashy or flamboyant and the issues he champions aren't headline grabbing, but you could say that one of Minnesota's resources is its environmental standards, and Rick Hansen has been a factor in keeping that standard high.
We have a serious problem looming ahead of us. Environmental issues need to be addressed now while we can still act on them. That's why mining must be challenged about its impact. That's why water testing needs to be examined constantly. That why coal fired power plants need to go away.
As Rick put it, Minnesota is not about coal and oil, it is about wind and solar. This state has the opportunity to lead the nation toward environmental standards that are compatible with a pollution free future.
Rick's decision not to run for Congress was probably the right one, but his observations on our need to make environmental concerns a larger focus is also the right one.
He may often be a solitary voice in the legislature on these things, but the state of Minnesota is lucky to have him doing just that.