Conservation Minnesota

Minnesota Setting Trends

Capitol

The Minnesota state law-makers are gaining attention due to their passing of various conservation laws.

We should all be proud of the work being done around conservation here in Minnesota because time and time again we prove that we are trendsetters and national conservation leaders paving the way on a variety of issues. We’ve been highly proactive on everything from toxic chemicals in consumer products to renewable energy. As Minnesotans, we care deeply about our natural resources, our families, and our Great Outdoors and that is the reason we set trends. We take the lead because we are independent thinkers here who understand the need for increasing renewable energy for our health, cleaning up our lakes and rivers for our kids, and removing harmful toxic chemicals in consumer products for our next generations. I would like to take a moment to show you all the awesome things we’ve taken the lead on that resulted in nationwide changes.

  • In 2007, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed one of the strongest renewable energy standards in the country requiring Minnesota utilities get 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. This also required investor-owned utilities, such as Xcel Energy, to generate 30% renewable energy by 2020. We are well on our way to meeting these goals and even exceeding them by 2025.
  • In 2008, Minnesotan’s overwhelmingly supported a small increase to our own sales tax to put money into the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The money would be placed into four funds that include the Clean Water Fund, Outdoor Heritage Fund, Parks and Trails Fund, and the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. Other states have similar programs but none this proactive.
  • In 2009, Minnesota passed a first in the nation ban on Bisphenal A (BPA) in some children’s products such as sippy cups. BPA is a hormone disruptor and potential carcinogen that can harm young children’s development.
  • In 2014, Minnesota passed a first in the nation ban on triclosan which is a chemical used in many antibacterial soaps and other personal care products. This was due to concerns that triclosan acts as a hormone disruptor that can cause a host of issues for young children. Now, in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finished studies showing that the chemical is not useful and potentially harmful. The result of this study is a nationwide ban on Triclosan.
  • In 2015, Minnesota was on track to pass the strongest ban in the nation on plastic microbeads that can be found in some soaps and personal care products. This was in response to growing evidence that large amounts of plastics were accumulating in the environment. However, before we were able to pass the state ban, the U.S. Congress passed a strong national ban on using microbeads in consumer products. This was a result of growing public pressure in Minnesota and beyond to phase-out plastic microbeads.

These are great achievements from the past but we’re still leading the way with the Buffer Initiative, updating the Electronic Waste Act, and returning some of the much needed funds to the Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment (SCORE), just to name a few. There’s always room for improvement but as you can see – Minnesota is a national leader when it comes to conservation legislation. We should be proud for taking such bold moves to protect our state for future generations.

If you live in the south metro and would like to know how you can be more involved with setting conservation trends, drop me a line! Avery@conservationminnesota.org

About Avery Hildebrand

Avery Hildebrand
Born in Minneapolis and currently residing in Taylors Falls, Hildebrand earned his degree in Environmental Science and Management from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. An avid fisherman, who once worked as an aquatic invasive species watercraft inspector, his perfect day in Minnesota includes good friends and fishing, which pairs nicely with his favorite place in the state, which he describes as the non-motorized portions of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
This entry was posted in Energy and transportation, Featured Stories, Healthy Kids and Families and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.