If there’s a message we should take from this article, it’s that Rick Nolan is an environmentalist first and foremost:

BRAINERD, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan voiced opposition Thursday to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline route, which would cut across northern Minnesota.

Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.

Rick Nolan will say anything to not upset environmental activists. Chloe Rockow, Stewart Mills’ communications director, highlighted that in this statement:

“It looks like once again, Rick Nolan wants to have his cake and eat it too,” she said. “We’ve seen too many instances where Rick claims to support projects like Keystone, Polymet, or Twin Metals but then turns around and supports the very regulations that stop them from moving forward. This is just another example of Rick’s extremism stopping a project that could really benefit the 8th Congressional District.”

I’d put things differently. Here’s what I would’ve said: Rick Nolan likes most of these big projects in the theoretical sense. It’s just that Nolan, like most Democrats, won’t pull the trigger so they’d become reality. It’s just that Nolan, like other Metrocrats, aren’t interested in improving people’s lives. They’re more worried about talking a good game.

The truth is that this project would bring lots of jobs to the Eighth District. Another truth is that Nolan, like other Democrats, wants to talk like he supports these projects without supporting these projects. That leads to an important question of great import.

Nolan supposedly supports PolyMet, which, according to environmentalist organizations like Conservation, might pollute entire watershed districts. How can Nolan support the PolyMet mining project but oppose the pipeline project? Further, why would Nolan support rerouting the Enbridge pipeline through important, productive agricultural properties? Is it that he doesn’t put a high priority on agricultural properties?

If the truth was told, it would be that Nolan’s taking his position on Enbridge and his position on PolyMet for purely political reasons. It doesn’t have anything to do with setting solid public policy. That’s why a vote for Rick Nolan is a vote for politics-as-usual in DC.

Minnesotans deserve better than that.

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2 Responses to “Nolan’s environmentalist roots”

  • Chad Q says:

    I really like Mills and everything he stands and wish he was running against do nothing McCollum so I could vote for him but, the 8th already had a conservative in Cravaak and they booted him in favor of Nolan. The Iron Range will continue to vote for those that promise the world and deliver nothing except for more unemployment. They get what they deserve.

  • walter hanson says:


    Keep in mind what got Chip voted out was simply that the DFL pushed out thanks to Obama and same sex every one of their loyal voters and they managed to barely win in a district that the DFL had won easily for a half century.

    What will flip this district and the work was begun by Chip and continued by Mills is that he is going to DFL voters for several elections and pointing out that the DFL doesn’t have their interests in heart. That is what alarms the DFL because if they will vote for Mills then they will vote for the Republican for statewide office, state lawmakers, and the lower offices.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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