Environment & Clean Energy

Clean Energy

While Minnesota is considered a Midwest leader in creating clean energy jobs, the 8th Congressional District ranks last in the state for the creation of these jobs. This is simply unacceptable in a 27,000 square mile district that is home to some of the greatest natural resources our country has to offer. Leah is dedicated to expanding the creation of clean energy jobs through supporting the expansion of tax credits that can help grow solar energy farms throughout the district, like North Star Solar in Chisago County, and wind farms like Taconite Ridge Wind Energy Center in Mountain Iron. She know that clean energy investment is critical to the improvement of public health, sustainable economies and limiting the effects of climate change. More information on her plans to expand the development of clean energy jobs can be found on her economic development plan

Leah stands for common sense trade policies that protect American jobs while promoting clean energy investment. Dumping of cheap finished solar arrays are harmful to U.S. manufacturers, but exorbitant tariffs on Canadian exports shut out the import of panels set for final manufacture in the U.S. - a move that could cost the 8th district over 100 high-paying jobs. Leah encourages common sense solutions to expand solar panel plants in the district, focusing tariffs on individual bad actors without targeting ethical trade partnerships that benefit our economy.    

Leah believes the United States should be a leader in the global fight against climate change and rejoin the community of nations as a participant in the Paris Climate Accord. By not being a signatory of this agreement, the United States cedes power and leadership to emerging nations on a defining issue of the 21st Century. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and we will continue to suffer grave consequences if we don't implement innovative, bold ideas to address it immediately.

Copper-Nickel Mining

Minnesota has a complex, layered practice of permitting and protections designed to safeguard the public, the economy, and the environment. It is a process of which Minnesotans should be proud and one that Leah will fight to protect. Similarly, the federal government has due process - a system built upon three coequal branches that provide checks and balances to one another, protecting citizens from exploitation and unfair application of our laws. Leah has seen the crucial importance of due process throughout her career and opposes the use of legislative power to circumvent the role of the judicial or executive branches. 

For these reasons, Leah opposes H.R. 3115, a bill that passed the U.S. House in early December 2017 to push through a land swap needed for the completion of the Polymet mine in Hoyt Lakes. Enacting this legislation will void four pending lawsuits on the matter, preventing Minnesotans from questioning the legality of the land swap and eliminating the judicial branch's role. Leah also opposes the MINER Act (HR 3905), which will prevent the completion of a two-year Forest Service study related to economic and environmental issues associated with mining near the Boundary Waters. It also designates Minnesota as the only state in the nation unworthy of public lands protections, requiring Congressional intervention into decisions regarding public lands in Minnesota. Leah believes politicians should not use their legislative power to place their thumbs on the scales of these important projects, as it prevents the regulatory process from working as intended and erodes our system of due process. She will fight to preserve Minnesotan's trust in our procedural systems, strengthen our environmental regulations and work to build a strong, sustainable economy for many years to come.

Pipeline Removal

Minnesota has two petroleum refineries and an extensive system of pipelines transporting crude oil and refined petroleum across the state. Construction, replacement and removal of these pipelines has serious implications on Minnesota landowners, tribal members and our natural resources. Leah concurs with the Minnesota Department of Commerce that Enbridge's request to replace Line 3 is unnecessary and not beneficial to Minnesotans. Furthermore, the proposed project is not a replacement, as there is currently no plan to remove the decommissioned pipeline. Leah supports exercising corporate responsibility through the removal of decommissioned pipelines, noting that such removal could have significant positive impacts on Northern Minnesota's economy. A current proposal for the removal of Enbridge's Line 3 has the potential to create 8,000 jobs and a inject over a billion dollars into the local economy.

Leah knows that the location of pipeline routes disproportionately affects the Native American community in Minnesota. In Congress, she will work to ensure tribal sovereignty is at the forefront of any decisions in this area.