Does Minnesota need to change its approach to environmental protection?

Each Monday now through the election, we’ll pose a question on an issue that’s pertinent to the race for Minnesota governor. Today’s Question: Does Minnesota need to change its approach to environmental protection?

Democratic candidate Mark Dayton:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency should be renamed the Pollution Reduction Agency, and its mission should become to reduce pollution throughout Minnesota. It also needs to streamline its review procedures so that they take less time, while still providing the protection Minnesotans want and deserve.

Independence Party candidate Tom Horner:

Minnesota shouldn’t change its environmental protection values; we do need to improve the process. We need to streamline environmental oversight. In some cases — protecting the water quality of our lakes, for example — this will require more cooperation between state and local governments. In other cases — economic development — we will do better if we have fewer agencies, making oversight quicker, more predictable and more consistent. Protecting our state’s natural assets is a priority. But the approach must be less burdensome for everyone.

Republican candidate Tom Emmer:

Minnesota is a leader in environmental protection. We have some of the strictest standards in the country. Our farmers, outdoorsmen and women, hunters and anglers are the natural conservationists.

Science, technology and the economy have evolved since many of the laws, rules and regulations on environmental protection were first developed. We will review these laws to ensure that our economy is not hindered and our environment remains protected.

Maintaining and preserving our natural resources isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a Minnesotan issue. Our approach will be responsible with our resources and will demand efficient and effective permitting of projects that will create jobs.