It’s frustrating to watch our elected representatives in Congress try and fail (so far) to create the infrastructure legislation we need to ensure that everyone will be able to enjoy Minnesota’s beautiful lakes, rivers and forests far into the future. One of the issues that's holding up this legislation is figuring out who is going to pay for the massive environmental projects that we need to start working on right now.

I think the big oil corporations — the corporations that learned 40 years ago that their products were going to damage our climate — should pay for the projects we need to ensure future generations can enjoy fishing, hiking, hunting, and have a healthy economy in Minnesota. Almost a dozen states, including Minnesota, have filed lawsuits against companies like Exxon and Koch Industries for continuing to run their businesses without any concern for the harm they knew they were causing. The oil companies should just admit their guilt and pay for the short- and long-term damages they caused so we can put that money to good use right away.

Also, the large oil and coal companies receive hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies from the U.S. government. Let’s put that money into infrastructure projects that will create healthy and safe communities and protect our families’ and our children’s health instead of putting it into the pockets of oil executives.

Jay Lieberman


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