News Watch: Oct. 6

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Air Quality; Candidates & Legislature; Climate Change; Legislature; Energy; Invasive Species; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Outdoor Recreation; Transportation; Water; Wildlife;

Agriculture & Food
Associated Press: Freeze could end growing season for immature crops (In MPR
MPR: Burden of rail delays falls on western Minnesota 
NPR: Two for one: Subsidies help food stamp recipients buy fresh food (In MPR

Air Quality
Business North: First hearing help on tough air quality proposal 

Candidates & Legislature
Duluth News Tribune: 8th Congressional District race/Challenger’s view: Vote for your family, the environment and veterans 

Climate Change
MinnPost: Community Voices: Marching for the planet – and for hope 
MPR: Minneapolis council weighs utilities’ greenhouse gas deal 
Red Wing Republican Eagle: Editorial: Let’s warm up to tackling a global concern (J. Drake Hamilton of MEP member group Fresh Energy & Will Steger of MEP member group Will Steger Foundation featured)  

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development: Minnesota Clean Energy Economy Profile 
Twin Cities Business: MSP airport building state’s largest solar energy site (In MinnPost

Invasive Species
Associated Press: Young mussels found in the Red River (In MPR

Mesabi Daily News: Editorial: ‘The minerals aren’t going anywhere’ 

Oil & Pipelines
MinnPost: Community Voices: A public role in rail’s big battles? 

Outdoor Recreation
Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s view: Support all uses of public land in Fredenberg Township 
Pioneer Press: Water Trails Summit focuses on economic impact of paddling sports in Minnesota 

Finance & Commerce: Public skepticism of gas tax complicates Move MN effort (MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy mentioned)  

Bemidji Pioneer: Letter: We need to protect all of Minnesota’s waterways 
Duluth News Tribune: Cleanup of Radio Tower Bay in Duluth making progress 
International Business Times: Contaminated Drinking Water: EPA To Warm Public About Toxic Algae Outbreaks 
MPR: Mississippi River states prepare for an oil spill –not if, but when 

Star Tribune: Death count of birds could rise exponentially with new stadium (Joann Eckles of MEP member group Audubon Minnesota quoted)

News Watch: Oct. 2

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Energy; Invasive Species; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Wildlife;

Agriculture & Food
Bemidji Pioneer: ‘Bee’-midji: Ordinance in the works regulating beekeeping 
MPR: Getting water to crops when they’re thirstiest pays off 
Star Tribune: Sugar beet industry ready for harvest 

Star Tribune: Ethanol industry pushes back on rail safety improvements 

Invasive Species
Star Tribune: Letter: DNR is falling behind in race to keep lakes clean 

Duluth News Tribune: Essar Steel announces financing secured to finish iron mine, plant 
Timberjay: Long road remains for PolyMet EIS 

Oil & Pipelines
Associated Press: Enbridge delays ND oil pipeline at least a year 
Politics in MN: Rail Congestion taking a toll 
Star Tribune: Sack cartoon: Riding the rails 

Parks & Trails
Winona Daily News: Hikers, rejoice: New state forest land opens in Winona County 

Politics in MN: Suburban counties fight transportation policy 
TC Daily Planet: Joint committee seeks answer to rail congestion 

Waste & Recycling
Associated Press: California becomes first state to ban plastic bags 
CBS: Good Question: Why Do We Use So Much Plastic? MEP member group Eureka Recycling quoted 

MinnPost: Community Voices: Making sure the monarchs always return to Minnesota 
Star Tribune: Minnesota butterfly quest takes flight in new science film 
TC Daily Planet: The not-so-common Loon: New study warns of decline Matthew Anderson of Audubon Minnesota quoted 

News Watch: Sept 30

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Air Quality; Conservation; Climate Change & Climate Summit; Energy; Frac Sand Mining; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Transportation; Water; Wildlife

Agriculture & Food
MPR: Ag secretary says new farm bill programs will make farming less risky 
MPR: European activists say they don’t want any US ‘chlorine chicken’ 
MPR: Jonathan Foley’s Chautauqua Lecture on agriculture’s role in climate change 
Think Progress: USDA Sends Some Farm Bill Money to Organic And Local Agriculture 

Air Quality
Brainerd Dispatch: Opinion: Clean Air Act successes 

MPR: Managing a herd: Bison could help restore Minnesota prairie 

Climate Change & Climate Summit
Rochester Post Bulletin: Cutting down on meat consumption will reduce greenhouse gases 
Star Tribune: Editorial: Global warming: There’s no ‘Planet B’ 
St. Cloud Times: Greenhouse gas sparks panel discussion at CSB 
Think Forward: Corporations represent at UN climate summit (In TC Daily Planet

Associated Press: Proposed Sioux Falls solar farm worries neighbors (In MPR
Greentech Media: Solar Policy Battle: IRS Now Part of Fierce Debate Over How to Value Solar Power 
Midwest Energy News: Cost of solar permitting swings widely in Minnesota Michelle Rosier of MEP member group Sierra Club North Star Chapter quoted 
NPR: Tiny Spanish island nears its goal: 100 percent renewable energy (In MPR
Rochester Post Bulletin: Rochester should become a leader in using renewable energy 

Frac Sand Mining
MinnPost: Earth Journal: Frac-sand mining boom accelerating and eluding regulators, analysis finds 

MinnPost: Community Voices: On Naomi Klein and the need to rethink the economics of North Woods mining 

Oil & Pipelines
Associated Press: US oil industry offers crude-train testing standards after accidents highlight risks (In Star Tribune

Parks & Trails
Winona Daily News: Proposed development in Whitewater State Park 

MinnPost: Community Voices: Transit oriented development: linking community benefits and regional health 
MPR: Metro Transit riders to see new shelters, improvements 
Star Tribune: Suburban counties rise up against Met Council 

St. Cloud Times: Opinion: Don’t amend Clean Water Act 

Associated Press: Minnesota Raptor Center to release healthy birds 
CBS News: Half the world’s wildlife gone over last 40 years 
MPR: Audubon to protest bird ‘death trap’ stadium design 
MPR: The worldwide impact of wildlife trafficking 


News Watch: Sept 25

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Candidates & Legislature; Climate Change & Climate Summit; Energy; Hazardous Chemicals; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Transportation; Water; Wildlife

Agriculture & Food
MinnPost: Blog: Can pig farmers be good stewards? 

Candidates & Legislature
Twin Cities Daily Planet: Carrie Wasley, candidate for protecting water in Ramsey County 

Climate Change & Climate Summit
Fortune: Climate summit kicks off with promises of $200 billion for clean energy 
Minnesota 2020: Blog: I Marched There to Come Home Here 
MPR: Hear President Obama’s UN speeches on terrorists and climate change 
MPR: President Obama outlines U.S. plans at UN Climate Summit 
Reuters: U.N. climate summit summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy (In Duluth News Tribune
Star Tribune: Letter: Climate March 
Think Forward: People’s Climate Match: The currency of movements (In TC Daily Planet
Twin Cities Daily Planet: Community Voices: Media coverage of climate change march in New York 

Midwest Energy News: Minnesota faith groups featured in ‘Climate Reality’ project 
Midwest Energy News: Unique Minnesota data project illuminates cities’ energy use 
MinnPost: Community Voices: Solar in Minnesota: a marriage of increasingly popular objectives with enlightened public policy 
MPR: Blog: The great grease caper in Rochester 
Rochester Post Bulletin: Council considers option for Mayo Civic Center solar panels 

Hazardous Chemicals
Oil & Pipelines


News Watch: Sept. 22

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Deforestation; Divestment; Energy; Great Lakes; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Sustainability; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Wildlife; Loon Commons Blog

Agriculture & Food
MinnPost: Blog: Farming into the future: Hmong American Farm 
MPR: How will rail delays impact Minn. farmers this season? 
Star Tribune: General Mills to close cereal plant, yogurt site 
Star Tribune: Minnesota farmers beg Congress, transportation officials to fix rail problems 

Climate Change
Associated Press: China, US, India push world carbon emissions up (In MPR
MPR: Climate Cast: Is climate change destabilizing Iraq? 
MPR: Minn. students join national march to demand climate change action 
MPR: Minnesotans participate in New York climate march 
MPR: Scenes from the People’s Climate March in New York City 
NPR: Large protests in hundreds of cities vent ire at climate change (In MPR

NPR: Sweet: Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme pump up pledge on palm oil (In MPR

New York Times: Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity from Fossil Fuels 

Duluth News Tribune: Fond du Lac, Minnesota Power plan ‘solar farm’ partnership 
Minnesota 2020: Energy Trends: Fossil Future or Renewable Outlook? 
Reuters: Food versus fuel in renewable energy showdown (In Brainerd Dispatch
Star Tribune: Buffalo Lake ethanol plant returns to production 
Star Tribune: Commentary: Minnesota should start now to control its energy future 
Star Tribune: Letter: 100 percent? That idea is just ridiculous 
Washington Post: Commentary: Solar energy, like cellphones, will prove naysayers wrong (In Star Tribune

Great Lakes
Duluth News Tribune: Editorial: Strategy needed to rid St. Louis River of Mercury (Quotes from Minnesota Environmental Partnership’s Andrew Slade & Kristin Larsen of MEP member group Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest 
Minnesota 2020: Blog: Turning the Corner on Great Lakes Clean-Up (Written by Minnesota Environmental Partnership’s Andrew Slade)
Pioneer Press: Great Lakes: Canadian nuclear waste plan opposed by Senate Resolution 

MinnPost: Blog: Which kind of future for Minnesota’s Iron Range is most likely to lead to sustainable employment?

Oil & Pipelines
Star Tribune: Letter: We need rail to move farm products, so let’s build some pipelines to relieve traffic 
Star Tribune: Q&A: Chevron’s CEO on oil, carbon, exports 

Star Tribune: Editorial: Minnesota’s global outlook helps land sustainability conference 

MinnPost: Electric cars on display Sunday at Minnesota state Capitol 
MinnPost: How being ‘car ownership free’ led to healthy living community organizing and embracing transit 
MPR: Blue Line trains are running again in Bloomington 
Twin Cities Daily Planet: Community Voices: Unsafe and unseen – Minnesota’s ghost bikers 

Waste & Recycling
MPR: Best Buy hits billion-pound recycling, aims for more 

Associated Press: DNR closes Pigeon Lake Islands (In MPR
MinnPost: Earth Journal: 1,300 bird species facing extinction from environmental causes worldwide 
NPR: Killing comes naturally to chimps, scientists say (In MPR
Pioneer Press: Moose populations down as winter ticks cull herd 


News Watch: Sept 11

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Air; Climate Change; Conservation; Energy; Invasive Species; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Outdoor News; Sustainability; Transportation; Water; Wilderness; Wildlife; Loon Commons Blog

Agriculture & Food
MinnPost: Letter from Skunk Hollow: Straw-bale bounty, with zucchini the size of a cat 
NPR: Tax breaks may turn San Francisco’s vacant lots into urban farms (In MPR

MPR: Scientists say the ozone layer is recovering 

Climate Change
MPR: Audubon report finds climate change ‘spells trouble’ for North American birds 
MPR: Teaching young about climate change a delicate task 
New York Times: Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America’s Bird Species, Study Says 
Star Tribune: National Audubon Society study: climate change threatens the loon and other Minnesota birds 
The Washington Post: CO2 levels in atmosphere rising at dramatically faster rate, U.N. report warns 

Brainerd Dispatch: Conservation movement examined 

Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota Power to idle four coal-fired electrical generation units 

Invasive Species
Associated Press: Zebra mussel infestation found near channel to Lake Minnetonka (In Star Tribune

Duluth News Tribune: Gogebic Taconite to review mining plans after more wetlands discovered (In WPR
MPR: Copper-nickel mining could move south of the Iron Range 

Oil & Pipelines
Star Tribune: Commentary: Stand up against risky, unwanted pipelines 
Star Tribune: Counterpoint: Pipelines move oil safely and efficiently 

Outdoor News
Pioneer Press: DNR predicts colorful but short-lived fall foliage this year 
Star Tribune: Grand Rapids man picked to head Legacy funding council (In Duluth News Tribune

MN Daily: U forges way as plastics research leader 

MPR: Southwest light rail foes file lawsuit 
TC Daily Planet: 2014 St. Paul street repairs – An opportunity for complete streets 
TC Daily Planet: Group files Suit over Southwest LRT 

Associated Press: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to host Clean Water Summit (In Pioneer Press
MPR: Brainerd’s need to boil water puts spotlight on lack of chlorination 
MPR: Water works: Chlorination questions resurface in Brainerd 

Duluth News Tribune: Local view: Environmentalists want more than North can give 
LA Times: National view: Changes are needed to save Wilderness Act – and wilderness (In Duluth News Tribune
MinnPost: Protecting the wilderness of Lake Itasca: Itasca State Park 

Associated Press: Scientists warn of faulty Wisconsin wolf estimates (In MPR
MinnPost: No bird-friendly glass for Vikes stadium 
TC Daily Planet: After population decline, researchers optimistic about monarchs

News Watch: Sept. 8

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Green Innovation; Invasive Species; Mining; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wilderness; Wildlife;

Agriculture & Food
Albert Lea Tribune: Southern Minnesota growers: Early apples are ready 
Associated Press: Pesticide drift is persistent problem for farmers (In MPR
MPR: Apple harvest begins in Minnesota 
Star Tribune: Cornercopia: the little farm with a big mission 
Star Tribune: Fields of Green A Desert for Bees 

Climate Change
Brainerd Dispatch: Opinion: More alarmist climate change reports 

Brainerd Dispatch: Editorial: Camp Ripley’s solar project 
Star Tribune: Xcel negotiating deals for big solar projects in Minnesota 

Green Innovation
NPR: Cheap drinking water from the sun, aided by a pop of pencil shavings (In MPR

Invasive Species
MPR: DNR tries Zequanox on Christmas Lake’s invasive zebra mussels 
MPR: Invasive spiny water flea spreading throughout the Boundary Waters 

Duluth News Tribune: Taking their message to Washington – by canoe 
MPR: Video: Minnesota to Washington by canoe 

Minnesota 2020: VIDEO: Bike Lanes in the Twin Cities 
MinnPost: Community Voices: Transit planning ‘debacles’ and the subway option 
Star Tribune: Editorial: Encouraging steps for light-rail lines 

Waste & Recycling
MPR: Blog: Recycling? But it’s so hard 
Star Tribune: Commentary: Getting to zero waste together in Hennepin County 

MinnPost: Blog: Is it possible to waste water in Minnesota? 
NPR: Damming the Mekong River: Economic boon or environmental mistake? (In MPR
Star Tribune: Minnehaha Creek cleanup clears 3 tons of trash 

MinnPost: Earth Journal: Happy 50th to The Wilderness Act: Excerpts from week’s best coverage 

Duluth News Tribune: Cool, wet spring might have surpressed sage grouse numbers 
Inforum: Letter: Wildlife amendment is a win-win for ND 
NPR: US Pacific blue whales seen rebounding close to historic levels (In MPR
Politics in Minnesota: Rift festers on Outdoor Heritage Council

MEP and members urge Clean Water Council to include funding for Forever Green Initiative

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St. Paul, Minn. (Sept. 4, 2014) – The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, along with several member organizations, submitted a letter to the Clean Water Council Budget and Outcomes Committee urging them to include funding of at least $1 million a year for the Forever Green Initiative.

The Forever Green Initiative at the University of Minnesota provides for research to accelerate development of economically viable perennial and cover crop options that enhance farm prosperity, water quality and habitat. In the letter, MEP and its members encourage ongoing funding for the Forever Green Initiative.

According to the letter:

“[T]he Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report “Nitrogen in Minnesota Surface Waters” found high amounts of nitrates in much of Minnesota’s waters with 73% of nitrates coming from cropland. The report concludes that the  development of more cover crops and perennial crops is critical  to cleaning up our water. The Forever Green Initiative was established to address just this issue. Its focus is on the research  and outreach to develop and improve cover crops and perennial  crops that are profitable for farmers to grow and necessary to improve water quality.

“What has been missing is a commitment of ongoing funding to enable work that needs to take place over several growing seasons. For the Clean Water Council to include this funding in their final recommendations would be an important step in achieving this. We feel that $1 million a year is a modest sum in light of the dramatic potential for positive change in water quality this effort could yield over the long term.”

The organizations that signed onto the letter include:


Minnesotans back an increase in Renewable Energy Standard, says new poll

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For immediate release: September 4, 2014

Media Contacts: Christine Durand, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, 651-789-0654,

St. Paul, Minn. (Sept. 4, 2014) – A new poll shows that Minnesotans are paying attention to candidates’ views on renewable energy this fall, and they are looking for candidates that will improve the economy in Minnesota by creating clean energy jobs and training Minnesota workers to fill them.

The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) released the Minnesota-specific results today from a region-wide poll conducted by the RE-AMP network this summer. According to the poll, 72% of Minnesota voters are more likely to vote for candidates who want to promote clean, renewable energy like wind and solar in Minnesota.

“Minnesota voters are looking for bold leaders,” said MEP Executive Director Steve Morse, “They want to elect candidates this November who champion policies that keep Minnesota on a track as a leader in clean energy, create family-supporting jobs, and give us healthier air that will reduce asthma and lung disease and ultimately save lives.”

The survey of 421 Minnesotans was conducted July 26-August 3 by a bipartisan team — Public Opinion Strategies, which conducts polling for Republican candidates, and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which specializes in polling for Democratic candidates and includes a 4.9% margin of sampling error.

Minnesotans broadly agree that the time has come for increasing our Renewable Energy Standard. In fact, seven in ten Minnesota voters back a standard requiring that Minnesota get 50% of its electricity from renewables, a plan called for by the Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs Campaign, of which MEP is a member.

The study found that:

  • Nearly every demographic unanimously supports increasing energy efficiencies.
  • 93% of voters support increasing solar energy generation.
  • 85% of voters support increasing wind energy generation.
  • 7 in 10 voters in Minnesota say that renewable energy like wind and solar power is a reliable, affordable option that is an increasing source of good jobs.
  • 67% Minnesotans would rather reduce our need for fossil fuels by increasing energy efficiency, expanding our use of renewable energies; while just 25% would rather dig and drill for more oil, natural gas and coal in the U.S.

Although clean, renewable energy is proving to be the cheapest and most reliable form of new energy generation, Minnesotans would be overwhelmingly willing to pay more to transition to renewable energy. According to the poll, 81% of Minnesotans are willing to pay at least $1 extra on their monthly bill to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. “This demonstrates Minnesotans commitment to achieving a clean energy future,” said Morse. “But experience shows we can make the transition without additional costs to consumers.”

Download the full Minnesota Clean Energy Polling Results.


Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a coalition of more than 70 environmental, conservation, and civic organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. MEP engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.