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While I was not happy with some of the highlighted elections that could have gone more progressive, this year’s midterms were not as disappointing as they could have been.  It would have been nice to have Gillum, O’Roarke, and Abrahms elected, it’s kind of nice to think about them possibly being available for the next Democratic Presidential run… However, the midterms were bad enough with the many corporate candidates, especially here in Minnesota.  The only good thing on our ballot was Ellison who might give us a chance at defeating Enbridge.  Walz has given no indication to date that he will be any help.  But we can continue to pressure him and give him reason to change his tune.  You can click here to give him your input.  The Transition Team is awaiting our voices.   Please Speak Up!  Perhaps Dayton will do something prior to leaving office.  That would be exciting.  But I’m not holding my breath…  The PUC had another hearing starting today on the Line 3 issue.  I was not expecting it to be such a railroaded process but in just over two hours, they made all their needed decisions and adjourned.  They continue to act as Enbrige Lap Dogs, to show they have no respect for Treaty Rights, to give no consideration to the Climate Catastrophe they are resigning this state to endure.  There will be more on this next week because I want us to continue to comprehend how the PUC is letting down the people of Minnesota.  But for today I will focus on election results and why we need to maintain hope.

With many positives happening in the courts favoring fossil fuel opposition you’d hope that we’d see government entities beginning to ditch Big Oil too.  Keystone XL was recently stopped, and Juliana v. United States should soon be moving forward again… or maybe not.  But hey, did I mention Keystone XL was stopped?!?  Globally the Dutch courts are holding their government to account, and there are similar cases in the US, Belgium, Norway and Ireland.  But then, there’s also three dudes in Delaware who want to challenge climate change regulations because their electricity bills will increase…

Big Oil Money seemed to still be powerful in the midterms, defeating opponents in both of their highly financed campaigns against Washington Initiative 1631 (which would have implemented a fee on carbon emissions) and Proposition 112 in Colorado (which would impose a 2500′ minimum from buildings and vulnerable areas for new gas and oil developments – instead leaving in place restrictions specifying that wells must be 1,000 feet from high-occupancy buildings such as schools and hospitals, 500 feet from occupied buildings such as homes, and 350 feet from outdoor areas like playgrounds…  Sorry, kids!) They also killed Ballot Measure 1 with 12:1 spending though I’m not sure that oil and gas state Alaska would have found protections for salmon – there’s just more money in oil than fish… for now.

Have I mentioned I don’t think enough people are contemplating how long we will be able to grow food for ourselves? Maybe you read last week’s blog which started a bit on our growing food concerns.  I mean, what about a recurrence of the Great Drought?  See South Africa, India, lots of other places where we are seeing ground water shortages already.  Park Rapids just had to re-dig a well to support the city due to agricultural damage.  Or what about how fast we’ve killed off all other mammals? 60% since 1970??  And that’s not to mention insects…  Wonder how we’ll all feel about our special paint brushes we carry everywhere once our pollinators are decimated.

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.” ~ John Muir (1838-1914), Father of the National Parks

Activists like Muir who went ahead of us, gives me hope that we may win some upcoming battles.  A recent letter from MN Senator John Marty (DFL Senate District 66) to the PUC made excellent points and I include it here.

 

More on John Marty and his three fellow DFL Senators (Jim Carlson – SD 51, Chris Eaton -SD 40, and Patricia Torres-Ray – SD 63) who are supporting the StopLine3 movement in next week’s blog…

And what was the GOOD NEWS from the midterms?

Nevada did pass Question 6 regarding a 50 percent renewable energy mandate on state utilities by 2030.  And Amendment 9 in Florida passed banning offshore oil and natural gas drilling (but it’s not clear if that was due more to people who are annoyed by vaping, rather than those concerned with climate change, as these two unrelated ideas were slammed together in this Amendment).

And there is lots more happening.  Here are the cases to watch as we close out 2018.

Try not to lose hope.  And PLEASE DO ANYTHING YOU CAN.  Write to Governor Dayton.  Call your Senators and Representatives.  Talk with your neighbors.  Here is what I sent Governor-Elect Tim Walz today:

Many of the people I know and love met today with your Transition Team. I am hopeful that you will heed their advice and do everything you can to Stop Line 3. There is nothing more than MN can do as a state to mitigate the current Climate Catastrophe than to Stop Line 3. It is the equivalent to stopping 50 coal burning power plants. It will help us preserve the pristine waters of our North Woods and honor the Treaty Rights we agreed to uphold (I’m hopeful that you need no reminder that this is the highest law of the land), not to mention prevent the loss of thousands of tourism jobs that will be affected by a spill. Never forget. ALL PIPELINES LEAK.
There is much in the record of the Line 3 PUC Hearings: Intervenor Testimony, Public Commentary, Expert Evidence. But you can look no further than the latest news to see evidence of the Climate Crisis on our planet.
As a Native Nebraskan, you likely understand better than others the water crisis fast approaching. Nebraska is doing much to mitigate that aspect of our Climate Crisis. Protecting our Water means protecting our Farmers, the source of our local food. As a member of the National Guard, perhaps you were privy to the planning being done in our Military to assure needed resources for National Security. You may well know of the work being done on renewables as we siphon out the last of the dinosaur blood in the rocks below us. As an educator and father, you know the importance of our children. Hope and Gus are counting on you to protect this planet, not only for them, but for their children… and theirs. If only so you can proudly look them in the eye, do what is right for our planet, our country, and our state… our water, our land, our wildlife… our Indigenous and our loved ones.
Thank you for your consideration.

I know I can look myself in the eye when I look in the mirror.  I know my son is proud of the work his dad and I are doing.  My momma is proud too.  Take a moment today and do one thing to help in some way to keep our planet livable.  And then do it again tomorrow.

We are our best hope.