DNR, MPCA choices will say a lot about Gov.-elect Dayton’s ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ campaign pledge

Mesabi Daily News
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In the next several days, two appointments by Gov.-elect Mark Dayton will determine in large part whether his resurrection of former Gov. Rudy Perpich's pledge of "jobs, jobs, jobs" will be more than just a campaign promise when it comes to employment in the areas of resources.

If those selected to head the Department of Natural Resources and the state Pollution Control Agency have a background tied to environmental groups or a bureaucracy that were more interested in trying to block mining or logging or recreational activities than to create jobs or more tourism then it will be a sad message, indeed.

Minnesota has in place fine environmental safety standards. We protect our forests and lakes and rivers well. But just as individuals can be over-medicated, states and the federal government can be over-regulated.

And that is definitely the case when it comes to the state DNR and MPCA. These are the agencies that are crucial to determining the progression and fate of resource-based ventures.

The whining of those who really want to sidetrack and eventually push the button of destruction on mining and logging as viable industries in the state is real tiring. And when they oppose multiple-use of federal and state lands it gets even more ridiculous.

Those who use the lands and waters of northern Minnesota are good stewards of the state's beautiful environment. They don't have to voice the talking points of extreme groups to be true environmentalists. Nor do they have the deep pockets of the groups that seek delay and delay and delay through the bureaucracies and then the courts to derail projects that would create "jobs, jobs, jobs."

The rules and regulations are in place to keep the companies in line should they journey out of acceptable practices. And it will be the directors of the DNR and MPCA to ensure they don't.

But the heads of those two agencies also need to be advocates for jobs. After all, that was the No. 1 priority of their boss, the governor-elect, on the campaign trail.

We have no reason to doubt that Mark Dayton has been swayed by others in his transition effort from his campaign promise when it comes to resource-based jobs.

But these two upcoming appointments will be telling regarding that issue.