January 26, 2021

Statement on Gov. Walz’s budget proposal

Gov. Walz’s proposed budget for Minnesota, released Tuesday, extends the governor’s disappointing record on protecting our climate and contradicts his statements about the existential threat of the climate crisis.

MN350 Executive Director Sam Grant:

“Today’s disappointing budget announcement from the Walz administration should trouble all Minnesotans who care about making progress on greenhouse gas reduction and protecting our planet for future generations. We need our leaders to size their vision for policy solutions to match the scale of the worsening climate crisis. We need a moon shot, and Gov. Walz has proposed a pop gun.

“Minnesota has a proud reputation for leading on environmental and climate issues. But despite Walz’s acknowledgment that the climate crisis represents an existential threat, Minnesota’s reputation is being eroded with every decision the governor makes to respond as if it were a minor inconvenience. That includes his decision to allow permits for the construction of a massive pipeline in Northern Minnesota that will mostly benefit a Canadian company.

“States like Michigan and New Mexico and California have picked up Minnesota’s leadership mantle and are now running laps around us while we fall behind competitively. True leadership — as governors in other states are demonstrating — would mean championing a budget that promotes a bold climate agenda, prioritizes racial justice and recognizes the effects of climate change are falling hardest on our frontline communities.

“We applaud the vision and leadership of the many climate champions in the Legislature who are working tirelessly to advance a bold climate justice agenda, and we urge them to continue speaking out to demand that Minnesota right-size its ambitions to protect the state we love.”