My Administration has worked long and hard with environmentalists, conservationists and business leaders to develop a system that protects the environment while meeting the needs of Minnesota companies. Through our Department of Trade and Economic Development, small businesses have been guided through the Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency's environmental protection laws. Rather than penalize businesses for breaking the law after the fact, when the damage has already been done, our agencies work closely with businesses to prevent problems. The result is doing business in Minnesota has become less expensive and more environmentally sound.
One example of this cooperation is an agreement between the PCA and 3M, in which the company agreed to reduce the pollution from its St. Paul factory and in return the state promised to interfere less with its operations. Other programs such as the Minnesota Sustainable Development Initiative will develop a coordinated environmental enhancement and economic development strategy.
We accomplished all of this while enacting landmark environmental legislation. In 1991, I signed into law the nation's most comprehensive wetland protection legislation. My efforts have been recognized by environmental organizations like the National Audubon Society.
I take the role of environmental steward very seriously, and will continue to work to achieve a healthy balance between environmental protection and economic development.
Prepared by the Carlson/Benson Volunteer Committee
Wheelock Whitney & Chris Fritsche, Co-Chairs