Energy & Environment

Migratory bird protections to be permanently restored by Biden administration

BY: - May 6, 2021

The Interior Department plans to officially revoke a Trump-era rule that loosened enforcement of a longstanding law to protect migratory birds. The rule put in place by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt barred government authorities from holding companies liable for environmental violations leading to the deaths of birds protected under the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty […]

No details yet on Biden conservation plan, but Stauber slams it

BY: - May 6, 2021

Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday previewed their objections to the Biden administration’s still-unreleased plan to conserve 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030.  President Joe Biden created what is commonly called the “30 by 30 plan” in a Jan. 27 executive order, but the administration hasn’t released details about […]


New electric car-sharing program aims to help Minnesotans living with the dirtiest air

BY: - May 3, 2021

The American Lung Association’s 2021 State of the Air Report recently ranked Minnesota’s air quality for the three-year period of 2017 to 2019. In general, our state did pretty well, with grades for ozone and particulate pollution slightly improved in many areas since the previous report. The study also found disparities on who lives in […]


New funding to curb wildfires pushed in Congress as another fire season looms

BY: - April 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — As wildfires across the United States grow in size, intensity and duration each summer,  members of Congress from the West are pushing for massive new investments in ecosystem management and wildfire mitigation. House lawmakers called for more attention to wildfire management and support for wildland firefighters at a hearing Thursday before a House […]

Minnesota Supreme Court pauses PolyMet mining project

BY: - April 28, 2021

PolyMet was dealt a setback from the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday as it seeks to start the state’s first copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The state’s highest court sent the permit to mine — a key permit among many — back to the Department of Natural Resources for further review, after the agency first issued […]

Haaland asks for federal funding for Interior to fight climate change, aid Native Americans

BY: - April 20, 2021

In her first congressional hearing as the leader of the Interior Department, Secretary Deb Haaland fielded questions from members of a U.S. House spending panel Tuesday on the major conservation and energy initiatives that President Joe Biden has outlined. She was noncommittal about some contentious and high-profile items of deep interest to Western states, like […]

Climate groups: Walz lacks boldness and decisiveness for environmental change

BY: - April 15, 2021

A coalition of worker, Indigenous, environmental and progressive groups says Gov. Tim Walz is failing Minnesotans on environmental justice and climate change.  The group published a midterm climate report card, which gives Walz mostly failing grades for his efforts toward a sustainable and equitable future, saying his methods lack the boldness and decisiveness needed.  “The […]

Biden’s budget aims to fight climate change, promote conservation, aid Native Americans

BY: - April 12, 2021

President Joe Biden’s first budget request laid out on last week reflects the administration’s commitments to advancing conservation and combating climate change, proposing new money across federal agencies to address those issues.  Like most domestic programs in Biden’s overall $1.5 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2022, the recommendations for increased spending on conservation and climate […]

Law enforcement has received $500,000 in Enbridge money for work related to Line 3

BY: - April 12, 2021

Canadian energy company Enbridge has spent more than $500,000 to cover law enforcement expenses related to construction of its Line 3 oil pipeline in northern Minnesota, according to documents obtained by the Reformer through a public records request. The payments come from a requirement in project permits, which mandated that Enbridge create a trust to […]

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Commercial fishing in Lake Superior, in four charts

BY: - April 8, 2021

Fisheries on Minnesota’s North Shore have seen their catches dwindle dramatically since the mid-20th century, according to data from the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.  Minnesota allows commercial fishermen to catch nine species of fish, including rainbow smelt and herring. Click through the slides for a look at how commercial fishing in Lake Superior has changed […]

Biden taps expert in Native American law from Minnesota as top lawyer at Interior

BY: - April 8, 2021

President Joe Biden nominated Native American law expert Robert Anderson, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, to be solicitor of the Interior Department Wednesday. The move underscored how the administration is putting a priority on placing Native Americans in charge of the agenda at Interior. Last month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, […]

Biden administration mum so far on returning gray wolves to endangered species list

BY: - April 6, 2021

A controversial decision in the last months of the Trump administration to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list led to a massive overhunt in Wisconsin this year that Ojibwe tribal representatives said disrespected their wishes. But there’s no indication yet that the Biden administration will attempt to roll back that move, despite an […]