Loon Commons Blog

Promising legislative session ends with gridlock, a few bright spots

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership — @mattjdoll The 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session saw some of the most ambitious legislation in  years for Minnesota’s environment, but unfortunately, the Legislature did not live up to its responsibility to Minnesotans to pass progress into law. With the signature of the final budget and policy bills by Governor Walz… Read more »

Copper-nickel mines inch forward, but advocates defend MN’s waters

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership — @mattjdoll On Wednesday, the federal Bureau of Land Management announced its renewal of two mineral leases held by Twin Metals, the company seeking to construct a copper-nickel mine in the Superior National Forest near Ely. The leases were previously blocked by the Obama administration due to the tremendous environmental… Read more »

House and Senate offer divergent paths on environment this session

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Minnesota’s 2019 Legislative Session is entering its final stages. With a May 20 deadline to pass its budget and policy bills through both houses for Governor Walz’s signature, the Legislature is poised to make deals and compromises that will shape Minnesota’s environment for years to come. The DFL-controlled House… Read more »

House passes 100% clean energy by 2050, showing Minnesotans’ efforts are bearing fruit

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Wednesday evening, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed an omnibus bill for energy and economic development that includes a major milestone for climate action in our state: a path toward 100% carbon-free electricity statewide by 2050. This bill would marshal Minnesota’s utilities, energy efficiency expertise, and ingenuity to… Read more »

Minnesota Senate threatens harmful cuts and rollbacks in environmental budget

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll Last week, the Minnesota Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee unveiled an omnibus budget bill that would dramatically cut general state support for our natural resources by 25%. These cuts, representing a funding decrease of $90 million from the last two year budget, would harm the… Read more »

Line 3 fight returns to Legislature, continues in appeals

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Last month, Governor Tim Walz announced that his administration would allow the Department of Commerce to continue an appeal – begun under the Dayton Administration – of the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) decision to grant a Certificate of Need for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. This week, the Minnesota Senate passed… Read more »

Legislature considers restoring citizen oversight tool in the MPCA Citizens’ Board

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership In the last evening hours of the legislative session in 2015, Minnesota citizens lost their voice. The Citizens’ Board was established in 1967 alongside the creation of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and for 48 years existed as an avenue for 8 citizens appointed by the Governor and approved… Read more »

Time for Action on Nitrate Pollution in our Groundwater

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Image credit: MPCA By Bobby King, Policy and Organizing Program Director, Land Stewardship Project The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is holding a public meeting in Red Wing at the St. James Hotel on Monday, March 25, at 5 p.m., to discuss the value of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) on nitrate pollution in the karst… Read more »