Northland cashes in on Great Lakes cleanup!
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Spurs Growth in Good-Paying Jobs and Commerce Throughout the Northland
Like many communities throughout the Great Lakes region, the City of Duluth is seeing significant long-term economic benefits from the $300 million the federal government invests every year in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).
Cleaning up the environment helps grow our economy, create good-paying jobs and improve everyone’s quality of life. With that in mind, our ongoing battle to stop the President’s proposed cuts and fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative(GLRI) at $300 million a year got a big boost last week.
According to a new study by the University of Michigan, every federal dollar we invest to clean up Lake Superior, along with its tributaries and shorelines, will generate about $3.35 billion in economic activity for Duluth and the Arrowhead by 2036.
The study noted that many of those benefits are already evident throughout our region – increased tourism, rising home and property values, and fast-growing commercial development just to name a few. In Duluth for example, the proliferation of waterfront hotels has spurred a 4.4 percent increase in leisure and hospitality jobs over the past decade, along with a doubling of tourist tax revenue.
The study further pointed out that in the Duluth-Superior area alone, GLRI funding has helped pay for dredging 300,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, the cleanup and restoration of 257 acres of wildlife habitat, and the creation of 350 acres of new habitat along the once badly contaminated St. Louis River estuary and harbor. Across the Great Lakes, hundreds of similar GLRI projects are cleaning up decades-old pollution, restoring shorelines, wetlands and wildlife habitat and battling invasive species.
Clearly, if the President were really serious about creating more good paying jobs here in the Northland, he would be asking for more money to fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – not asking Congress year after year to zero it out. Rest assured I will continue to help lead Great Lakes Democrats and Republicans alike to ensure that not one dime of GLRI funding is ever eliminated.
We will keep you posted as events proceed. Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or send me an email.
Abandoning Science, EPA Takes a Step Back into the Dark Ages
The Administration’s policy of making it more and more difficult for the EPA to do its job starts at the top - as our old friend, Pulitzer Prize winning Minneapolis Star Tribune cartoonist Steve Sack, pointed out in this 2017 gem featuring the President and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The New York Times is reporting that former coal lobbyist and now acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Adam Wheeler has decided to drag the EPA further back into the Dark Ages by eliminating the Office of the Science Advisor.
Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta currently holds this senior post, created to advise the Administrator on the latest science and research supporting health and environmental regulations. She’s an expert on the risks of chemicals to human health, and has worked at the EPA since 1981, according to the agency’s website.
Of course, facts and science are the best weapons we have in the battle to protect our planet and its precious environment for generations to come. And medical research and science has helped double the life expectancy here in America over the past few generations. Those simple truths have proved inconvenient for the President and GOP leaders in Congress who are determined to roll back rules and regulations that have prevented their friends in the fossil fuel industry from recklessly degrading and destroying our air, land and water to make themselves even richer than they already are.
As the old saying goes, “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts.” Facts don’t go away simply because powerful people choose to ignore them – endangering human health and our environment in the process. We need to be expanding - not abandoning - science and the search for truth to benefit humankind.
U.S. Should Be Supporting - Not Undermining - Ethanol and Biodiesel Production
Nolan joins in urging House leaders to extend tax benefits for the industry
Ethanol adds about 63 cents to the value of every bushel of Minnesota corn and soybeans used to produce it.
With farm income at a 12-year low, Minnesota ethanol – which adds 63 cents in value to every bushel of corn and soybeans used to make it – can be a lifesaver for hard-pressed farmers and Minnesota's farm and rural economy. In fact, ethanol production accounted for 28 percent of Minnesota’s entire corn crop last year – 415 million bushels. And, according to a recent study prepared for the Minnesota Biofuels Association, ethanol and other biofuels support some 18,100 good-paying, full timejobs across our state.
That’s why I’ve joined numerous other colleagues in urging House leaders to ensure that the 2019 federal budget agreement contains a multi-year extension for tax incentives benefit farmers, truck drivers, and consumers within the ethanol and biodiesel production chain.
Across farm country, ethanol can be a powerful weapon to help offset economic retaliation by China and other trade cheater nations angry over US–imposed tariffs and taxes. But first, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to implement and support strong renewable fuel standards (RFS) – not undermine them.
Under the current President, EPA has been helping the already incredibly profitable fossil fuel industry get even richer by granting “hardship” waivers to oil refineries, allowing them to reduce the amount of bio-fuels they are required to blend into gasoline. That needs to stop.
In fact, we should be expanding the sale of higher ethanol gasoline blends. That’s why I have joined many of my colleagues in cosponsoring the Consumer & Fuel Retailer Choice Act (H.R.1311) to allow for year-round sale of E-15 fuels.
Minnesota is leading the way in the use of E-85 fuels. According to the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, Minnesotans had used a record 29.9 million gallons by the end of May 2018 – a 57 percent increase in sales over the 19 million gallons sold during all of 2017.
The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association provides some highlights illustrating ethanol’s remarkable contributions to our state. Ethanol:
• Makes up just under 13% of all the fuel used in Minnesota.
• Supports some 18,100 good paying, full time jobs in agriculture, manufacturing
• Contributes $2.17 billion to Minnesota’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year.
• Adds $1.5 billion to Minnesota’s annual household income.
• Pays $192 million in state and local taxes every year.
Federal Judge Rules Lawsuit Against the President for Accepting Foreign Payments Can Proceed
Nolan and 199 Other House Democrats accuse the President of violating the U.S. Constitution by doing business with foreign governments without Congress’s consent
A view of the lobby of the lavish hotel the President owns just a few blocks from the White House. Foreign governments have reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on rooms, food and entertainment at the facility, profiting the President financially without the consent of Congress, and in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
In direct violation of the Constitution, the President has personally profited by accepting payments from foreign governments for rent, food, and entertainment at his lavish Washington, D.C. hotel – and these deals must stop. That’s the contention of the lawsuit I recently joined 199 other Members of Congress in filing in federal court – and last week, Federal judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that we have legal standing to sue, and our case can proceed.
By way of background, our lawsuit is based on the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits presidents from taking payments or gifts from foreign governments without the consent of Congress. This is the first time the Clause has been tested in court in more than 200 years.
“The Clause requires the President to ask Congress before accepting a prohibited foreign emolument,” Judge Sullivan wrote, noting that if our allegations are true, “the President is accepting prohibited foreign emoluments (payments) without asking and without receiving a favorable reply from Congress.”
Our Week in Duluth
As the construction season winds down and winter closes in - crews work to finish the first part of the three-year Superior Street restoration project in downtown Duluth. District Director Jeff Anderson snapped this photo after touring the project.
Our Week in Braham
Lakes and Pines Community Action Council out of Mora held their annual meeting at the Braham Community Event Center in Braham last week. The meeting focused on several important topics including supporting and expanding funding for educational resources and programs including Head Start. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen attended the meeting.
The Initiative Foundation held its Growing Home Luncheon Series at the Braham Event Center highlighting positive issues they are working on for the community and economy. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen attended
on my behalf.
Our Week in Wyoming
Pine Technical and Community College had their mobile welding trailer setup - as a part of 'Manufacturer's Week' in Wyoming - to allow attendees a chance to test their welding skills. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen (pictured welding) put his skills on display.
Our Week in Cass Lake
Enbridge and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe conducted a pipeline emergency response training exercise. Federal and state agencies, emergency response personnel, and local first responders all participated in the drill. In this picture, you can see members of the Cass Lake Fire Department deploying a boom. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein attended the exercise.
Our Week in Cherry
A large crowd gathered at the Cherry Township Hall for a briefing where they heard about a $600 million USDA broadband grant opportunity that would help rural communities like Cherry obtain high-speed internet. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside attended and helped organize the event.
Our Week in Tower
Warmest congratulations to the recently elected tribal leaders for the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa! Pictured (L to R): Swearing In Officiant, Ferdinand W. Martineau, Jr.,Vice Chair of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and those being sworn in: David C. Morrison, Sr., Secretary/Treasurer; Shane Drift, District I Representative; Peter “chief” Boney, District II Representative. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside attended the swearing-in ceremony at Fortune Bay on my behalf.
Happy Birthday John Lennon - Born October 9, 1943
John Lennon reminded us that revolutionary change begins with each of us, and what we do every day to make the world a kinder, better, more peaceful place.