fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Minnesota’s Air is Great, Again

It seems like we’re always being told that we are losing on the environment. Not only that, it seems like we’re being told are losing even more today than we were yesterday, but this is blatantly untrue. America in general, and Minnesota specifically, is winning on the environment.

One could even argue that Minnesota’s air is great, again.

Every year the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) releases a study entitled “The Air We Breathe,” evaluating the air quality in Minnesota.

The 2019 version of this study states shows that Minnesota’s air quality meets all federal standards. In fact, emissions of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and small particulates have plummeted since 1997.

This trend has persisted despite the fact that Minnesota’s population and economy have grown, and that people drive more miles today than they did in the past.

In other words, we’re doing so much winning on the environment.

According to MPCA:

“Minnesota has cut emissions significantly in the past 30 years, especially from large facilities like power plants. Today, most of our air pollution comes from vehicles and smaller, neighborhood sources such as home heating, dry cleaners, and backyard fires. These sources are difficult to regulate, so voluntary actions by businesses and individuals will be key to further improving air quality.”

This is big news that no one is talking about, and it proves something we have been talking about for a long time, pollution control equipment at Minnesota’s coal plants means these coal plants are already clean. In contrast, neighborhood sources like dy cleaners, home heating and backyard fires emit 66 percent more small particulates than factories and power plants.

Furthermore, even when Minnesota did have bad air quality days, they were overwhelmingly caused by factors outside of Minnesota. For example, according to MPCA, Minnesota experienced no “bad air” days in 2017. However, during the summer of 2018, we had nine bad air days; seven of these, or 78 percent, were caused by smoke from distant wildfires that was transported into Minnesota.

The real world date belies the popular narrative that the environment is getting worse or is already irreparably ruined. As I’ve noted before, as societies become wealthier, they place a higher priority on having a clean environment. So the next time you’re talking to someone about the state of the environment, just point them toward the real world data that shows Minnesota’s air is great, again.

 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now