News & Politics

State Pollution-Control Employee Busted for Advocating Against Pipeline

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It’s not often that Minnesota governor Mark Dayton does something that deserves widespread praise. But the Democrat deserves kudos for his handling of a state pollution-control employee who has been caught abusing that position to advocate against a proposed pipeline project.

Scott Lucas works for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A local paper exposed emails sent by Lucas regarding the pending Sandpiper crude oil pipeline. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

In one e-mail, Lucas sent a message including a link to an environmental report regarding another pipeline, saying it “could be a very useful tool for us to use when making our case against Sandpiper in this area of the state.” The e-mails were first reported by the Pioneer Press.

“Somebody in that position who’s playing an advocacy role with advocate organizations has really crossed the line of what their professional responsibilities are,” Dayton said Wednesday. “If they’re going to get into political advocacy, they should resign their position and run for the Legislature or go to work for one of the organizations that oppose the pipeline.”

Lucas was caught. But there’s little doubt his indiscretion is indicative of tendencies among state bureaucrats and their staff. After all, what kind of person wants such a job?