The agribusiness lobby is well known as one of the most powerful in Washington, D.C., and many states. Less well known is the fact that big agribusiness interests are among the largest roadblocks to cleaner water for the American people.
Big agribusiness corporations have invested millions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying to defend agricultural practices that pollute America’s rivers, lakes and ocean waters and to defeat common-sense measures to clean up our waterways.
Sherburne County Power Plant in Becker emits 867 pounds of mercury every year—the most in Minnesota—according to the new Environment Minnesota report, Dirty Energy’s Assault on our Health: Mercury. The report found that power plants in Minnesota emitted 1,664 pounds of mercury pollution in 2009. The report comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose a standard by March to limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.
Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides.
Environment Minnesota held a press conference at WeatherNation to release a new report documenting how global warming could lead to extreme weather events becoming even more common in the future. The report also highlights recent extreme weather events that have impacted Minnesota, our nation, and the globe.
America has virtually limitless potential to tap the energy of the sun. Solar energy is clean, safe, proven and available everywhere, and the price of many solar energy technologies is declining rapidly. By adopting solar energy on a broad scale, the nation can address our biggest energy challenges – our dependence on fossil fuels and the need to address global warming – while also boosting our economy.
Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.