The Land of 10,000 Lakes ought to keep their lakes clean! Read up on your eco-friendly congressional candidates before you vote, Minnesota! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Minnesota
Voting in your primaries is nice and straightforward. You have an open primary type on August 25, meaning you can vote for whichever party you choose. Plus, candidates with the most votes moves onto the general election in November, no majority or run-off elections needed.
Things on the ballot this year: US Senate, US House, Governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state executive offices, state house, supreme court, appellate courts, local judges, school boards, municipal government, recalls, and candidate ballot access.
Your current senator has some pros and cons, which we’ve reviewed for you. The other candidates’ environmental candidates are either no good, or underdeveloped.
- Incumbent since 2006
- Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy
- Vice Chairs of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force
Don’t get us wrong, Amy has a lot of pros. Just take this list of Amy’s supports with a grain of salt.
- Renewable energy investments through tax credits (also: adopt Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard nationwide)
- Paris Climate Agreement
- Keep strong clean air and water protections
- Preserve open spaces and wetlands
- Protect the Great Lakes and Minnesota lakes from invasive species
- Improve energy efficiency through tax credits
- Implement Cap and Trade policies
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Water Resources Reform and Development Act (upgrade water system in ports for flood protection)
- Great Lakes Fish & Wildlife Restoration Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5765 (funding for restoration efforts)
- Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2008 https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/senate-bill/2994 (clean-up in Great Lakes)
- Upper Mississippi River Protection Act (reduce pollution in the river).
- Broaden our wilderness areas
- Update our toxic chemical policies
- Increase energy efficiency in cars
- Supports an “all of the above” energy policy. This means Amy is looking to continue to invest in domestic energy of all kinds, renewable and fossil fuels, including oil, gas, and coal.
Other Senator Candidates:
- Steve Carlson (D) – Supports funding renewable energy, but opposes many greenhouse regulations, particularly cap and trade policies (source).
- Stephen Emery (D) – States “the federal constitution does not provide any basis whatsoever for this kind of regulation and it is contrary to the proper purposes of government.” Unsurprisingly, he opposes funding renewable energy and greenhouse regulations, deeming climate change a “fraud.” Literally thinks that “greenhouse gases” refers to greenhouses that produce carbon dioxide (source). We can’t make this stuff up, folks.
- David Robert Groves (D)
- Leonard Richards (D) – Convicted for two murders, running from prison.
- Merrill Anderson (R) – Opposes federal funding for renewable energy developments and regulating greenhouse gases. Merrill deems green energy and climate change science as a “fraud” (source).
- Rae Hart Anderson (R)
- Roque De La Fuente (R) – Also running in Wyoming, Washington, Vermont, Hawaii, Florida, and Delaware.
- Jim Newberger (R) – Opposes the Clean Power Plan (in place to reduce carbon emissions), for an all-of-the-above energy policy (fossil fuels and renewables), and supports pipelines and mining for domestic nonrenewable fuel.
- Paula Overby (Green) – Wants to expand investments in renewable energy and protect the environment.
- Dennis Schuller (Legalize Marijuana Now)
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Your candidates say very few things about the environment or sustainability, so we recommend checking in with other issues and deciding from there.
- Dan Feehan (D)
- Colin Minehart (D)
- Andrew Candler (R)
- Jim Hagedorn (R) – Has an all-of-the-above energy approach, including fossil fuels and renewable energy (source).
- Carla Nelson (R)
- Steve Williams (R) – A political courage test from 2012 tells us some of his past views. He supported offshore drilling restrictions and federal regulations of greenhouse gas emissions (source).
Our pick: Angie Craig
- Head of Global Human Resources for a manufacturing company
Angie’s fight for the environment stems from protecting people’s health and investing in economic opportunities. With the expansion of renewable energy comes a significant reduction of carbon emissions, a decreased risk of environmental and human health, and the growth of jobs, technology, and innovation for your state. She’s concerned mostly with finding a bipartisan approach to investing in green energy solutions and phasing out fossil fuel dependency with market-based options. Lastly, Angie wants to maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard and continue the work Minnesota has put into developing clean energy.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Jason Lewis (R) – incumbent
- Bradley Svenson (Independence Party) – Supports renewable energy and “responsible” use of natural resources.
Our pick: Dean Phillips
- Former CEO of Phillips Distilling Company
- Entrepreneur (Talenti Gelato, Penny’s Coffee)
What we love about Dean is, not only does he have great green ideas, but his values are evident in his own lifestyle. He drives an electric car and controls his home temperature with a geothermal system. Good stuff, you might be thinking, but what about his policies? Let’s review.
Dean is looking at using market-based solutions to improve the environment by decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions, specifically with carbon fee and dividend policies. He also wants to address carbon emissions by encouraging clean energy production with incentives, like tax credits for renewables. Right now, there is a 30% federal tax for renewable energy, but its days are numbered with a decrease on the docket for next year. Additionally, Dean sees the potential in not just green energy, but also energy efficiency, specifically looking to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy for guidance. Finding feasible ways to reduce energy consumption also helps reduce harmful emissions.
Other District 3 Candidates:
Cole Young (D) – Supports carbon tax.
Erik Paulsen (R) – incumbent – Supports an all-of-the-above energy approach with renewables and fossil fuels.
Our pick: Betty McCollum
- Incumbent since 2000
- Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Betty supports funding programs in place to protect the environment and ensure policies that work to combat climate change. She’s particularly eager to continue fighting for protections of the air, water, and general conservation policies. Additionally, Betty wants to expand renewable energy production and research.
Other District 4 Candidates:
Our pick: Ilhan Omar
- Former VP of Minneapolis NAACP
- Community Nutrition Educator, University of Minnesota
Ilhan hits some target objectives when it comes to sustainability. For one, she supports a 100% green-powered future by investing in renewable developments and efficiency now, along with transition support for workers in the fossil fuel industry. She also wants to end tax breaks for fossil fuel industries in another effort to discourage dirty energy production. Ilhan opposes a number of risky project, including the Line 3 pipeline and mining near watersheds. She also wants to adopt policies to secure a zero-waste future, which we’re all for.
Other District 5 Candidates:
- Jamal Abdulahi (D)
- Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D) – Helped pass a renewable energy standard for your state while serving as Minnesota’s speaker of the House.
- Frank Nelson Drake (D) – Supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Patricia Torres Ray (D) – Wants to fight back against federal rollbacks of environmental (and human health) protections.
- Bob Carney Jr. (R)
- Christopher Chamberlin (R) – Supports funding renewable energy but opposes greenhouse gas regulations (source).
- Jennifer Zielinski (R)
Our pick: Ian Todd
- Air Force Veteran
Ian’s plan for the environment is mostly about investing in green energy. He knows that this focus will decrease oil dependency, decrease carbon emissions, and improve environmental and human health. He also wants a focus on transition opportunities for miners and other fossil fuel workers so these hard-working Americans are not left behind.
Other District 6 Candidates:
- Tom Emmer (R) – incumbent – Adopts an all-of-the-above energy approach, which includes fossil fuels and renewables. Tom supported the Keystone XL pipeline.
- A.J. Kern (R) – Opposes federal funding of renewable energy and greenhouse gas regulations (source).
- Patrick Munro (R)
Well, District 7, you candidates are not too great for the environment. Your incumbent is doing okay, but we’d still like to see more here. We do not have an official endorsement for your district.
Collin Peterson (D) – incumbent- Collin supports funding renewable energy developments and supports conservation program investments, but he opposes some of the EPA’s proposed regulations on greenhouse gases (source).
Dave Hughes (R) – Believes that the EPA is guilty of over-regulation, particularly with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The first two help keep air and water safe for us humans, the third is pretty self-explanatory. He supports fossil fuels and renewables, but not funding renewable developments. He also wants greenhouse regulation to be up to the states to decide, which is okay in concept, but not very practical when pollution easily crosses state borders, especially on the east coast (source).
District 8, we have two good eco-friendly options for you. Take a look!
Kirsten has a good sustainable agenda. Some of the things on the list are running the country on 100% renewable energy by 2035 and getting rid of fossil fuel cars by 2030. She also wants to reduce plastic waste by doing away with plastic bags and straws. Kirsten opposes new pipelines, finding renewable energy developments a better investment.
- Worked to conserve native Minnesota plants
Soren supports some of the same things on Kirsten’s agenda. This includes funding renewable energy developments and regulating greenhouse gas emissions. He wants to keep pollution in check with a carbon tax, which would work to reduce carbon emissions and have positive impacts on protecting the air, water, and ecosystems (source). Additionally, Soren strongly opposes expanding the Enbridge system, which includes Lines 3 and 67.
Other District 8 Candidates:
- Michelle Lee (D) – Supports expanding renewable energy investments, public transportation, high-speed rails, regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.
- Jason Metsa (D)
- Joe Radinovich (D) – Supports funding renewable developments and greenhouse gas regulation (source).
- Pete Stauber (R) – Supports “sound” iron ore mining methods.
- Harry Welty (R) – Supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gases (source).
- Ray “Skip” Sandman (Independence Party) – Supports green energy through incentives and ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.