• 28°

Paid political letter: I value the environment

What do you value? What are your values? I value the environment, like Fountain Lake. Growing up I fished in Fountain Lake when most of the fish in the lake were carp. I remember the big winter kills when truckloads of big dead carp were hauled away in the spring. Through conservation measures, Fountain Lake has become a good fishing lake. Many people worked hard to make this happen. It took university and government conservation experts to guide the process. I value the environment, but environment is more than fun in Fountain Lake.

In 1965, two science teachers at Central Junior High School in Albert lea, Mr. Harding and Mr. Carpenter, started the summer science program. I was a student in that program for four summers. We learned the science of environment in the field. We learned from the wildlife perspective, from the Minnesota state park system, from the University of Minnesota system. We learned from the agricultural perspective the conservation of soil and water. We learned to value the environment.

When I was growing up, most of us had never seen an eagle. Now, I have seen one sitting on the top of my house. I see them almost weekly over my house. I value the environment. When I was growing up I remember the news story of a river that caught fire because it was so polluted. As a nation we made choices to preserve the environment for the sake of the future. Our nation created conservation acts with understanding that conservation is in the best interest of the people of the United States and the world. We can protect resources and be a productive nation.

Do you value the environment? Vote your values! There was a time when conservation was a part of what is called conservative politics. We need to conserve the value of the resources we have.

That is not the action of the current administration. It has been the policy of this administration to deregulate. Scott Pruitt was appointed as head of the EPA. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA 100 times. When Pruitt resigned under pressure for his abuse of office, a former lobbyist for the coal industry was appointed to head the EPA.

The Trump administration does not value the environment. This administration has reversed 68 environmental rules and 32 more reversals are in progress. Clearly, many people value maximizing profits over protecting the environment. If that is your value system, vote for it. I hold to the values of the conservation movement, eagles over my house, good fishing in Fountain Lake, clean air.

If you value the environment, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president; vote for Tina Smith for senator. Vote for Dan Feehan for 1st Congressional District. Vote for Thomas Martinez for Minnesota House of Representatives 27A. Vote for Dan Sparks for Minnesota Senate District 27.

Joel Xavier

Ellendale