Finance & Commerce, January 2, 2018: Sustainable: Planners charting Minnesota’s energy future
“Energy generation from wind and solar has grown significantly in Minnesota. Utilities have announced the retirement of thousands of megawatts of coal plants in the next decade. Popular technologies such as electric vehicles, sophisticated thermostats, battery storage and rooftop solar hold great potential to produce cleaner energy. And they pose challenges to the electric grid.
Minnesota is entering a new era of energy production that promises to upend the traditional power grid in the same way the internet, the iPhone and deregulation transformed communications over the past 30 years.
What the future might look like is being debated and studied by several leading environmentally oriented nonprofits and by Minnesota regulators. In mid-December the Minneapolis-based Environmental Initiative, for example, held a conference on utility resource planning and ‘designing for disruption.'” >>Read More.
MPR News, December 13, 2017: PolyMet offers state $544M if it couldn’t pay for mine cleanup
“PolyMet Mining has submitted an updated plan detailing how much money it plans to make available in the event it can’t pay for the proposed mine’s clean-up.
The so-called “financial assurance” is a major step in the company’s more than decade-long effort to build the state’s first ever copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
Think of financial assurance as a damage deposit. A landlord hopes that deposit will cover any repairs needed after a tenant moves out.
The state of Minnesota hopes financial assurance would protect taxpayers from future cleanup costs at PolyMet’s proposed mine and processing site near Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes, Minn., if the company were to go bankrupt or couldn’t do the work itself.”
>>Read and hear more, featuring MEP’s Steve Morse.
WCCO/CBS Local, October 24, 2017: Gov Dayton: I Now Support PolyMet Mine
“Gov. Mark Dayton is throwing his support behind a controversial copper-nickel mining project in northern Minnesota — and environmental groups are not happy.
He said Tuesday he supports the proposed PolyMet mine in Hoyt Lakes.
The mine would bring nearly 400 jobs to the economically-distressed area, and supporters say it could lead to the rebirth of the mining industry.
This proposal has been debated for at least ten years, and Dayton has been neutral until now, expressing his concern for both the environmental impact and the need to bring jobs to the area.”
>>Read and watch more, including interview footage with MEP’s Steve Morse.
Star Tribune, October 24, 2017: Gov. Mark Dayton comes out in favor of copper-nickel mining project
“Gov. Mark Dayton said that the PolyMet copper-nickel mining project in northeastern Minnesota should be allowed to proceed if it meets environmental standards and financial safeguards, ending years of neutrality on one of the state’s most controversial private-sector projects.
“I’ve always believed environmental protection and economic growth can be complementary objectives,” Dayton said Tuesday after speaking at a cybersecurity conference in Minneapolis.
Dayton’s approval is no guarantee that the project, more than a decade in the making, will finally come to fruition. PolyMet first must obtain the necessary permits. The Department of Natural Resources is expected to issue a draft permit-to-mine by the end of the year, one of many permits necessary to begin the project. The draft permit would be followed by a public comment period of at least 52 days.
But Dayton’s support removes the chance that he would put up a roadblock. And he has provided crucial political cover to the agencies as they finalize their considerations about permitting.
Steve Morse, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, said he and his allies “respectfully disagree” with Dayton’s stance, which he called “befuddling.”
“It’s a high-risk project in a highly sensitive watershed,” Morse said. “As Minnesotans, we ought to be protecting all of our water resources…”” >>Read More
WAMU 88.5, October 24, 2017: Ores, Mine And Ours: Mining And The Environment In Minnesota
MEP’s Steve Morse sat down with WAMU radio to talk about the human costs of sulfide mining that will occur in northern Minnesota if such mines are approved. Listen here.
TPT Almanac, September 15, 2017: Enbridge Oil Pipeline Controversy
MEP’s Steve Morse appeared on Almanac to debate the economics and the environmental and human risks of the proposed Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. Watch here.
Northland Press, September 13, 2017: Department of Commerce concludes that Line 3 Pipeline is not needed in Minnesota
“On September 11, 2017 the Department of Commerce submitted testimony to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission concluding that Enbridge has not established a need for the proposed Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota as required under state rules.
The testimony states that “in light of the serious risks and effects on the natural and socioeconomic environments of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3 without any new pipeline being built.”
Steve Morse, Executive Director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, said, “We commend the Department of Commerce for taking a hard look at the data and carefully considering the criteria that are in law for this type of project. The Department found that this pipeline is not needed for Minnesota, that it does not benefit Minnesota, and is not good for Minnesota…””