Loon Commons Blog

With stakes high, Minnesota gets rolling on clean transportation

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photo credit: Dept. of Energy By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership As the COP24 climate summit wraps up in Poland, there’s no question that climate change is rightly under the global and national spotlight. Countries, states, and companies are working to shape the bold solutions we need to tackle this unprecedented challenge, and Minnesota has… Read more »

Minnesotans protecting our state’s future

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On Friday, December 7, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership held our annual meeting for member organizations, gathering together many of the groups around Minnesota that make up our coalition. We discussed the challenges we faced, but also the exciting efforts by hardworking people around the state to build a better future for ourselves and the generations… Read more »

Improved VIDA legislation passes in Congress, offers protections from invasive species in Great Lakes

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By Matt Doll – Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Tuesday, November 27, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a major piece of legislation, the U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, which was passed by the Senate earlier this month. The bill, now awaiting a Presidential signature, contains legislation called the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA),… Read more »

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 »