Business and government officials and environmental advocates gathered today at the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Environmental Initiative's legislative preview, and things got a little testy among legislators.
House Environment Committee Chair Denny McNamara and Mining and Outdoor Recreation Chair Tom Hackbarth introduced themselves but said little in the first round of a panel discussion about this year's legislative session.
After that, DFL Reps. Rick Hansen and Jean Wagenius and Sen. John Marty used their time to assail the Republican agenda on the environment, saying they would likely ignore important issues.
Wagenius said the key issues would be global warming, air quality, drinking water and threats to bees and said she feared no action because Republicans now control the House. She said Republicans were in hock to the energy lobby, and specifically oil, after the 2014 campaign.
McNamara shot back, "Anybody in this crowd who thinks Denny McNamara is in the pocket of big oil -- give me a break."
"I can be a nice guy, folks, but don't you dare claim that I won't talk about big issues," he said.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."