Energy & Environment

Audit: Commission gave Enbridge too much influence at early meetings

BY: - July 27, 2020

The Legislative Auditor released a report Monday critical of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, citing a poor track record of engaging the public in its work regulating power plants, pipelines, and other utilities. Opponents of the Enbridge Line 3 and other controversial projects seized on the findings, calling it vindication after years of criticizing the […]

COMMENTARY

The Minnesota lawsuit against Big Oil is about environmental protection — but also racial justice

BY: - July 27, 2020

Minnesotans place a high value on accountability. In the 1990s, we led the nation by taking Big Tobacco to court for lying about the harms caused by smoking. More recently, we’ve been at the forefront of demands to hold police accountable and change law enforcement systems that brutalize and kill Black people in Minnesota and […]

COMMENTARY

If you want to save the Boundary Waters, this election is pivotal

BY: - July 22, 2020

America’s first great conservationist president, Theodore Roosevelt, once observed that, “we have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received.” In Minnesota, when thinking about our Boundary Waters, it is impossible to disagree. In the Boundary Waters, we are blessed to be the stewards of 1.1 million acres of the wildest, most […]

COMMENTARY

A conservative climate change activist on poisonous partisanship

BY: - June 26, 2020

As a former lobbyist and a self-professed State Capitol geek, I used to think divided government promotes bipartisanship, positive civil discourse, and the kind of change I like — the incremental kind. But the rising phenomenon of negative partisanship — defining yourself by what you’re against instead of what you’re for — is upending my assumptions. We’re the […]

Mining agency relents, gives grant to Fond du Lac for clean water

BY: - June 25, 2020

A state mining board commissioner today approved a $250,000 grant to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to provide clean drinking water, after the mining board tabled the grant, citing the band’s opposition to copper-nickel mining in sensitive watersheds. The Reformer reported Wednesday on the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board’s June 10 discussion […]

Minnesota sues oil giants for alleged climate change deception

BY: - June 24, 2020

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and three Koch Industries entities, alleging the companies deliberately misled Minnesotans about climate change for decades. Ellison filed the consumer fraud lawsuit in Ramsey County Wednesday. The complaint seeks restitution for harms as a result of climate change and asks that the companies […]

Iron Range board delays Fond du Lac band water improvement grant; critics say it’s political payback

BY: - June 24, 2020

A state mining board tabled a $250,000 grant to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to provide clean drinking water — a move critics said is intended to suppress opposition to copper-nickel mining in sensitive watersheds.   “I can’t remember us ever doing a grant to a local unit of government that is […]

COMMENTARY

What this crisis can tell us about the climate crisis

BY: - May 18, 2020

It’s been seven weeks of stay at home. For many of us, it’s been hard economically, emotionally and logistically, and it’s not over. But as we begin to turn the dial toward reopening, it’s a good time to take stock. What have we learned about ourselves as Minnesotans, about how we respond to crises and […]

3M water settlement could leave east metro communities and families short

BY: - April 22, 2020

East metro communities and families dealing with potentially dangerous 3M chemicals that leached into the water supply are still fighting to make sure they aren’t on the hook for millions of dollars in cleanup costs.  Minnesota and 3M settled a lawsuit for $850 million in 2018 over cleanup of “forever chemicals” that the corporate giant […]

Upper Mississippi River named most endangered river of 2020

BY: - April 14, 2020

The portion of the Mississippi River running through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa has been named the most endangered river in the country by the environmental advocacy group American Rivers. “Climate change is driving more intense rainstorms, leading to more frequent and prolonged flooding in the Upper Midwest,” the group said in announcing the ranking. […]

Attorney General Keith Ellison to Trump Administration: Quit it with regulatory rollbacks during pandemic

BY: - April 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and 20 other attorneys general from across the country are pressing the Trump administration to freeze pending regulations so officials can focus on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to the White House Office of Management and Budget requesting that the […]

COMMENTARY

State still needs to take public comment on Enbridge Line 3

BY: , and - March 23, 2020

As our state and nation struggle with the impacts of the Coronavirus, and bars, coffee shops, and restaurants shut down, some business is still going on. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is considering a critical water quality permit for the proposed multi-billion-dollar Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. The pipeline would run across 355 miles […]