Sierra Club Statement on Endorsement of Erin Murphy for Minnesota Governor


July 19, 2018

Contact: Dana Hallstrom, Political Committee Co-chair,

Minneapolis – Today the Sierra Club North Star Chapter announced its endorsement of Erin Murphy for election as Governor of Minnesota in a statement from Josh Davis, co-chair of the chapter’s Political Committee.

“Rep. Erin Murphy impressed us not only with her strong voting record on our issues during her legislative career, but by her passion and commitment to prioritizing environmental issues as Governor. Put simply, Erin Murphy will be a champion for clean water, clean air and a clean energy future in the Governor’s office.

“As a nurse, Rep. Murphy clearly understands how our environment impacts our health. She is committed to addressing the disproportionately negative impacts of climate change and pollution within communities of color and indigenous communities across Minnesota. She will lead the action we need to protect the people and places that make our state a special place to live.

“Rep. Murphy also brings on board Rep. Erin Maye Quade, who has been an outstanding environmental champion in the Minnesota House. This team offers a passion for values that Sierra Club members share. Sierra Club is excited to back this campaign in the August 14 primary election and the November general election, and we’re excited about what we’ll be able to achieve for the people of Minnesota by working with Erin Murphy as our next Governor.”


Minnesota Sierra Club Responds to 2018 Session Conclusion

May 21, 2018
Contact: Justin Fay –

Saint Paul, MINN. (May 21, 2018) – Late Sunday, the 2018 regular session of the Minnesota Legislature concluded with major pieces unfinished and opportunities unfulfilled.

In response, the Sierra Club North Star Chapter issued the following statement from Senior Chapter Representative Justin Fay:

“It is deeply unfortunate that leadership in the Minnesota Legislature has chosen the path of last-minute midnight hearings and poison pill provisions rather than delivering a legislative package that Minnesotans can be proud of.

“Minnesotans value their clean air, clean water and healthy communities. However, you would never know that from reading the major bills rushed through by legislative leaders during the final week. From attacks on community solar energy programs in the omnibus ‘budget’ bill – weighed down with controversial policy provisions – to a historic raid on environmental funding in the bonding bill and failure to make urgent investments in our public transit systems, it is clear that this Legislature was here to serve special interests, not Minnesotans.

“Once again, Governor Dayton will need to clean up the mess. We urge the Governor to veto the omnibus ‘budget’, rollbacks on clean water, attacks on Indigenous rights and free speech, and raids on environmental funding.”


Sierra Club Urges Veto of Bill to Nullify Water Quality Standard


April 30, 2018

Media Contact:
Justin Fay – – 612-251-1457 (cell), 612-659-9124 (office)

Saint Paul, MINN. (April 30, 2018) – On Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Senate passed HF 3280, a bill to nullify Minnesota’s existing sulfate pollution standard for wild rice waters. The bill now heads to Governor Dayton’s desk for his signature or veto.

Margaret Levin, State Director for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter issued the following statement in response:

“Wild rice is a critical cultural and environmental resource. As a sacred food for the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people and a unique natural resource found in very few places outside of Minnesota, we have an obligation to ensure that wild rice is healthy, abundant and protected for generations to come.

“While many legislators have professed a commitment to protecting wild rice, platitudes simply are not enough. House File 3280 is a radical bill that violates the Clean Water Act, virtually guarantees future litigation and undermines both sound science and industry accountability.

“Not everyone realizes that this bill nullifies the water quality standard entirely, eliminating the state’s ability to craft any rules to apply it. So while the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has pulled back their proposed update to the existing standard, HF 3280 would leave Minnesota’s environmental lead agency with no authority to create or enforce any protective standard for wild rice.

“Governor Dayton should promptly veto this legislation. The Sierra Club stands ready to join other stakeholders in continuing work to protect and enhance wild rice and the waters where it grows.”


House Bill Threatens Boundary Waters Wilderness

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Contact: Virginia Cramer,, 804-519-8449

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a bill undermining bedrock environmental safeguards protecting the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, as well as the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. The bill, HR 3905, would automatically grant mineral leases near the Wilderness boundary in perpetuity, while undermining guarantees for public process and water quality among others.

In response Lena Moffitt, senior director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign issued the following statement.

“The Boundary Waters is one of our country’s most beloved, and visited, wildernesses. This unprecedented legislation would overturn sound science, and remove citizen input on the future of public lands, clean water and the communities that depend on them. To risk the future of the Boundary Waters by allowing sulfide mining to move forward in its watershed is foolhardy, shortsighted, and an affront to Minnesota values.”

House Bill Threatens Lake Superior

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Contact: Virginia Cramer,, 804-519-8449

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House of Representatives tonight passed a bill ordering public forest lands turned over to a private mining company. The bill, HR 3115, would expedite the exchange of National Forest land with PolyMet Mining Corporation for an open pit copper-nickel sulfide ore mine — bypassing issues with the environmental analysis, value of the land appraisal, and ongoing public challenges.

In response Lena Moffitt, senior director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign  issued the following statement.

“Carving up America’s National Forest lands at the behest of a foreign mining company is an insult to American values and an attack on our bedrock environmental laws.. Opening these lands, waters and downstream communities to mining pollution in perpetuity, waiving safeguards for public input, endangered species and water quality is beyond the pale. The fate of Lake Superior – the world’s largest freshwater lake – and Minnesota’s iconic northern forests must not be left at the mercy of a foreign mining conglomerate.”

Twin Cities Environmental Advocates, Labor Leaders, and State Officials Decry Trump Administration Attacks on Public Health


November 20, 2017

CONTACT: Brian O’Shea – (952) 393-2986,

(St. Paul, MN) – Today, Twin Cities labor leaders, state officials and environmental advocates joined together to call on the Trump administration to maintain federal fuel efficiency standards.

In a press conference hosted by the Sierra Club, speakers urged the administration to maintain the standards and thanked Senator Klobuchar for her work to protect public health and consumers.

A video of the press conference can be found here.

“These standards represent America’s largest-ever effort to reduce air pollution,” said Joshua Houdek, Land Use & Transportation Program Manager for the Sierra Club North Star Chapter. “We need to strengthen clean car standards, not roll them back. We want to thank Senator Klobuchar for her work to ensure clean air and a healthy climate for our families and call on the Trump administration to do the same.”

America’s clean car standards help ensure that cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs are more fuel-efficient, saving drivers money every trip to the gas station. The standards have also benefited taxpayers by helping save the state and local governments money when refueling government vehicles. save money through its fleet-greening programs.

“We are constantly working to reduce operating costs within our state vehicle fleet,” said Administration Commissioner Matt Massman. “The CAFÉ standards make a wider variety of fuel efficient vehicles available. They cut fuel consumption, which saves taxpayers money.”

Speakers noted that cleaner, more efficient vehicles also reduce air pollution and combat climate change – helping prevent harmful health impacts like asthma attacks and heart attacks triggered by dirty air.

“For more than a decade the State of Minnesota and the U.S. have been moving in the right direction on air pollution and climate change,” said Assistant Commissioner David Thornton of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “There’s just no rationale reason why we want to halt that progress by rescinding these achievable CAFÉ standards.”

Consumers are reaping the benefits of greater fuel efficiency. America’s drivers have already saved more than $48 billion at the pump thanks to these standards, and by 2030, the average household in Minnesota will save $2,850 at the gas pump if they are left in place.


Minnesota Voters Turn Out in Record Numbers, Reject Trumpism

November 8, 2017
Contact: Margaret Levin, 612-659-9124,

Minnesota Voters Turn Out in Record Numbers, Reject Trumpism

Minneapolis, MINN. (November 8, 2017) – Yesterday, Minnesotans turned out in communities across our state to elect a historically diverse slate of new local leaders for a variety of critical offices.  Sierra Club North Star Chapter State Director Margaret Levin issued the following statement in response:

“Yesterday, Minnesota voters joined Americans from around the country in sending a clear message that the divisive politics of the Trump Administration will continue to be challenged at every turn.
The incoming Mayors, City Council members, School and Park Board members elected yesterday have tremendous opportunities ahead – to help Minnesotans move forward together as we pursue a just transition away from fossil fuels and toward the economy and communities of the future: clean, sustainable and inclusive.
We congratulate all of the winners in yesterday’s municipal election and look forward to close collaboration in the work ahead.”’