Monday, March 30, 2009

State's top priority: Protect economy

Now is not the time to raise the cost of doing business in Minnesota – costs that inevitably are passed along to rank-and-file citizens. That’s not solely the opinion of the business community. The general public believes so, too, according to a poll released March 27 by the Minnesota Chamber.

More than three-quarters of Minnesotans polled believe the government’s top priority should be to improve the economy. Nearly seven in 10 are satisfied with policy-makers’ efforts to address energy and environmental challenges, and about the same percentage believes global warming issues are primarily a federal and international responsibility.

The poll was conducted as three environmental measures are being proposed at the Legislature – a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions, a low-carbon fuel standard and the California clean car legislation. The Minnesota Chamber is a strong advocate of a clean environment. At the same time, we oppose initiatives that would place our state and our businesses on an island in public policy at tremendous risk to loss of jobs – and at the same time offer little hope for solving these problems.

The general public agrees, as underscored by the poll. People are clearly concerned about basic pocketbook issues right now, and they don’t want to experiment with questionable, new environmental policies that may get in the way of our economic recovery.

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