Letter to the editor: What’s Paulsen’s stance on Paris climate agreement?

To the editor:
My family enjoys Minnesota’s natural beauty yearlong, from swimming in Lake Minnetonka to biking on the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail to Nordic skiing in Three Rivers Parks.

So I was alarmed when President Trump pulled out of the 195-country Paris climate agreement. This move is the single biggest threat to American global leadership in job growth, innovation and negotiations on trade deals. Trump did this unilaterally, despite pleas from Republican and Democratic Congressional members, 30 high-profile CEOs, hundreds of companies, environmental and conservation groups, and world leaders, including Pope Francis.

I called my congressman, Erik Paulsen, to do something, to say something publicly. His staff said they didn’t know Paulsen’s position. He could have joined 13 House Republicans who sent a letter to President Trump to stay in the agreement but revise the pledge on emissions.

To date, Paulsen has been silent. No word on his website, no press release or op-ed, nothing on his Correspondence Corner video, no Facebook post, not even a tweet.

Then I got a letter from Paulsen thanking me for my concern about climate change and protecting our environment. I wish I could reciprocate that appreciation. While he says he believes we should “protect our natural resources and the environment for future generations,” his Congressional votes show the exact opposite.

If I paid closer attention to Paulsen’s votes, I shouldn’t have been surprised. His votes on environmental issues are disappointing. According to the League of Conservation Voters, Paulsen has a national environmental lifetime score over eight years of a measly 16 percent. This year alone, he has voted 11 out of 11 times against protecting our air, lands, forests, water and wildlife.

I’ve voted for Paulsen in the past. But he no longer has my support nor my vote. I realize he is not a moderate and does not represent me. He certainly does not support protecting our natural resources and environment. I want my family and yours for generations to enjoy the great outdoors in Minnesota and our great country. Sadly, with Paulsen in office, that dream is in jeopardy.

Christine Cleary
Shorewood