New leaders want to restrain regulation

New leaders want to restrain regulation
(article published in Bemidji Pioneer, “Minnesota Legislature: Environment, outdoors issues up for debate,”)

…The new Republican legislative leadership and Democratic Gov.-elect Mark Dayton agree on the need to make regulations less intrusive to businesses.

(Rep. Denny) McNamara (R-Hastings.) said that should help his goal of limiting how much time it takes to get various environmental-related permits.

“I anticipate that is going to come out of the chute strongly,” he said.

An example McNamara gave of how permit delays hurt business is that Iowa gets most of the new ethanol plants in a large part because it presents businesses with less red tape.

While speeding up state permitting, McNamara said, the state must remain strong in protecting the environment. “We want Minnesota to lead in that stuff.”

Being environmentally friendly will keep Minnesota a more expensive place to do business, McNamara said, but it is worth the price.

(Full article at

Our Take: 
We are encouraged to hear that leaders like McNamara and Governor-elect Dayton want to bring more balance to the approach of regulating business impacts on the environment. We believe Minnesota can maintain a strong regulatory structure that protects the environment without being overly punitive. Current regulation, permitting and assessment of penalties have reached the point that ethanol and other industries develop elsewhere, rather than choosing Minnesota. We can change that without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


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