MN 39B

Minnesota house district 39B includes several communities along the St. Croix River as well as Lake Elmo, Baytown, Bayport, West Lakeland and parts of Stillwater. Republican incumbent Kathy Lohmer is being challenged by Democrat Shelly Christensen. CM Voter Center researched voting records and candidate websites for issues related to conservation. Here is what we found:

 

Kathy Lohmer’s COnservation Voting History

Voted against protecting public drinking water. [1]

 

Her vote was intended to stop the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from taking decisive action to ensure every Minnesotan has safe drinking water.

Nitrate pollution in public and private wells has been increasing in many parts of the state. Testing found that 537 public wells across Minnesota had elevated levels of nitrate. This has left communities across our state looking for ways to protect drinking water for their schools, businesses, and residents.

[1] The bill, H.F. 2887, can be found here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF2887&ssn=0&y=2018


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Voted to eliminate the wild rice sulfate standard. [2]

 

On April 23, 2018, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to eliminate an important water quality standard designed to protect wild rice from sulfate pollution. As the state’s first ever copper-nickel mine enters the final stages of permitting, eliminating the wild rice sulfate standard could have meant fewer safeguards against water pollution for the Polymet project and future mining proposals near the Boundary Waters.

[2] See House Session Daily Story entitled, “House votes to nullify long-standing wild rice water standard“ at https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/13287


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Voted to limit clean energy job growth and to remove opportunities for the public to participate in significant energy and pollution decisions. [3]

 

Minnesota has a long history of innovation and citizen engagement. However, during the 2017 legislative session, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted on a bill that would have limited citizen’s involvement in state energy and pollution decisions and could have slowed clean energy job growth across the state. [4]

The bill proposed to:

  • Exempt petroleum pipelines from the public comment and environmental review process at the Public Utilities Commission

  • Politicize the appointment of commissioners to the Public Utilities Commission

  • Prevent local communities from addressing plastic bag litter and pollution

  • Repeal the Made in Minnesota solar program, which created local clean energy job

[3] The Journal of the House reports the vote here (page 4306): https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/journals/2017-18/J0406042.pdf

[4] See HF2209/SF1937 as amended, described by House Session Daily here: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/12771


Voted against protecting pollinators from neonic pesticides on state Wildlife Management Areas.[5]

 
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On May 3, 2018 an amendment was offered during discussion on the Omnibus Supplemental Finance bill which would have forbidden the use of neonic insecticides on state Wildlife Management Area. Currently these state-owned areas are allowed to use neonic insecticides which can be toxic to honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators even in very low concentrations.

[5] The Journal of the House reported the vote here (page 10217): https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/journals/2017-18/J0503091.htm#9990

 
 

Shelly Christensen’s Conservation Platform

Democratic candidate Shelly Christensen has made the following statement on issues related to conservation:

 

“Minnesota has a tradition of environmental stewardship. We are proud of being “The Land of Sky Blue Waters”. The 2017 legislature voted to dismantle and defund well established programs that provide common sense policy to protect Minnesota’s natural resources. For example, Kathy Lohmer voted to weaken water quality standards, undo buffer rules designed to protect waters from runoff and to allow corporations to prepare their own environmental impact statements without transparency. 

Shelly is a director on and endorsed by the DFL Environmental Caucus. As your state representative she will promote policy that will protect our natural resources and influence investment in renewable resources. Shelly believes clean air, water and land is a right for all people.  She trusts evidence-based science and she supports a carbon tax/dividend initiative. Shelly also believes the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizen Board should be restored. Shelly and her family appreciate the unique beauty of Minnesota and vow to preserve and improve its natural beauty for the future.” [6]

[6] https://www.shellyforhouse.com/our-environment/



We have done our best to represent each candidate in a fair and reasonable way. To find out more about each candidate, visit kathylohmer.com/index.html and www.shellyforhouse.com.

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