More on what scares Steve Drazkowski

Yesterday, I wrote about Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) fear-mongering about efforts to protect our lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water. He's frightened that "environmental extremists" are going to destroy jobs in Minnesota. Or something. From how scared he sounded, it seemed like he might have wet himself over this.

Specifically, The Draz is frightened that the Environmental Quality Board is organizing public forums. Here's why they are so very, very scary to The Draz:

For a couple of hours on a Tuesday night in Bloomington sanity reigned. People talked thoughtfully and openly about their desire for a green, sustainable economy. Citizens spoke to other citizens with words both sophisticated and simple. It was the way democracy should be: bottom-up, future-oriented, long-term, civil, and passionate. This citizen forum organized by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) was an affirming and useful exercise in listening and dialogue.

I've become a hardened cynic when it comes to environmental policy making in St. Paul. It's hard not to be, when you see industries regularly hiring away the folks who regulated them, and witness the deep infiltration of the polluter lobby under the Capitol dome. But for a few hours, I was deeply heartened by the passion of over three hundred people who packed into a room to share their hopes and dreams for Minnesota's environment.

Of course, sprinkled throughout the room were also a number of lobbyists for causes environmental and anti-environmental, politicians of many parties, anti-wolf hunt advocates who wore their convictions on their shirts, climate activists, and more. Overwhelmingly, this was a thoughtful and articulate crowd. This process could have devolved into a shouting match or been dominated by individual interest groups pushing their agenda. There were folks who clearly came to push a specific issue, but even the folks wearing shirts or buttons declaring their allegiance to a specific environmental cause participated in the process and didn't hijack it.


Where were the Koch brothers? Who was representing ALEC?

If people actually get together and talk about protecting the natural resources of our great state, the polluters might not get their way.

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