Loon Commons Blog

New tool aims to bring accountability to rural electric co-ops

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By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership Earlier this week, grassroots rural organization CURE unveiled a new Rural Electric Cooperative Report Card that aims to bring better governance and transparency to Minnesota’s rural electric cooperatives. CURE (an MEP member organization based in Montevideo) evaluated all 44 of the state’s electric co-ops to determine whether they had made several basic categories… Read more »

Minnesotans make their voices heard

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By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership From September 21st to November 6th, more than two and a half million Minnesotans cast a ballot for the 2018 general election, setting a record for total votes cast and reaching a turnout rate among eligible voters not seen in our state since 2002. Minnesotans elected forty new House… Read more »

Minnesotans stand up for right to thorough review of potential pollution

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photo credit: USDA By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Wednesday, October 31, residents of Winona County won a key victory as a District Court Judge in Ramsey County ruled to allow an extended public comment period on the proposed massive expansion of the Daley Farms dairy feedlot. Judge Jennifer Frisch halted the attempt by… Read more »

Two Minnesota cases examine “necessity defense” for climate protests

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By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership During this month, two important cases of civil disobedience have been brought before courts in Minnesota with a highly unusual twist. Defendants in Bagley and Duluth have been charged with disruptive action in opposition to oil pipelines, and they’ve been allowed by judges to employ a rarely-used tactic: Minnesota’s… Read more »

Less than three weeks remaining: A participation guide to the 2018 election

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Last Tuesday, October 16, marked the three-week-out mark for the 2018 midterm election, and the last day for Minnesotans to register to vote prior to Election Day, November 6. The week marked another important election milestone: the number of voters requesting early ballots nearly tripled in comparison to the same time… Read more »

Neighbor to neighbor, living with the Great Lakes

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The Lakewalk, Duluth, after a torrential storm (Andrew Slade, 2018) By Andrew Slade, Minnesota Environmental Partnership First to go was the line of sandbags we’d put down in case the waves crested the dunes. The waves kept cutting away. Then it was an old line of wooden snowfence and metal posts we’d put in five or… Read more »

A reason for hope: Minnesotans’ role in confronting climate change

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership This week’s United Nations report on climate change – estimating that the global community has roughly twelve years to cut emissions in half in order to avoid catastrophic warming – was jarring. The twelve-year deadline may seem a short window for the low-carbon revolution. But consider what has changed… Read more »

An unprecedented raid and a betrayal of voters’ trust

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Why MEP and our allies chose to take a stand By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Wednesday, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and eight partnering organizations served the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget (MMB) with a lawsuit challenging the Legislature’s raid on the constitutionally-dedicated Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund in order to pay… Read more »

Great Lakes Restoration is an economic goldmine

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Tuesday, a study headed by the University of Michigan reported that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) – which works to improve water quality and habitat health around the region – provides a tremendous payoff for Great Lakes communities. The report found that the GLRI, already known to be an… Read more »

World Car Free Day celebrates vision of cleaner transportation

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Yesterday, September 21, the City of Minneapolis partnered with Move Minneapolis to celebrate World Car Free Day, marked by cities around the world as a day to raise awareness of the many sustainable options available to commuters. The event included award contests, free transit pass giveaways, sharing of stories, and outreach… Read more »