MN 56A

Minnesota house district 56A includes Savage and parts of Burnsville. Republican incumbent Drew Christensen is being challenged by Democrat Hunter Cantrell. CM Voter Center researched voting records and candidate websites for issues related to conservation. Here is what we found:


Drew Christensen’s Conservation Voting History

Voted against protecting public drinking water. [1]

His 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:

Christensen, Drew.JPG

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


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):

[4] See HF2209/SF1937 as amended, described by House Session Daily here:

Authored bill to stop local communities from taking action to reduce pollution from plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. [5]

Minnesota’s farm and forest products industries have been pioneering new and sustainable uses for leftover farm and forest materials, like making food containers and bags from ag and forest residues. Representative Christensen’s bill would have constrained this innovation by preventing local communities from addressing plastic bag and Styrofoam container pollution. Sustainable, bio-based alternatives to plastic bags and Styrofoam containers are being developed right here in Minnesota, but Representative Christensen’s bill would have prevented communities from taking matters into their own hands. 

[5] The bill, H.F. 3606, can be found here:


hunter cantrell’s conservation platform

Democratic candidate Hunter Cantrell has made the following statements on issues related to conservation:

“By investing in renewable energy growth and related job skills training, we can create thousands of good paying energy sector jobs that cannot be moved elsewhere. Minnesota can become a leader in building a local, sustainable renewable energy economy that will secure greater economic growth within our state while reducing costs associated with importing fossil fuels.” [6]


We have done our best to represent each candidate in a fair and reasonable way. To find out more about each candidate, visit and

Hunter Cantrell Headshot.jpg