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MPCA Gets It Right On Not Regulating Greenhouse Gases on Dairy Farm Expansion

Center of the American Experiment has been reporting on a developing story where environmental activist groups like the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) and the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) are using the court system to attack Minnesota farmers. These groups have sued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for not regulating greenhouse gas emissions from a dairy farm seeking to expand their operation in Southeastern Minnesota. Thankfully, MPCA delivered a decisive win for farmers when it determined that the dairy farm would not need to complete a time consuming and expensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the greenhouse gases that...

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Pollution Control Agency Steps in It on Cow Emissions, Shows They Have No Business Regulating Greenhouse Gases On the Agriculture Industry

Last year, I wrote about how the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), a group that opposes mining and reliable natural gas and coal-fired power plants, sued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at the Minnesota Court of Appeals for not considering the impact that expanding a dairy operation would have on greenhouse gas emissions during the permitting process. Surprisingly, the Court of Appeals agreed with MCEA and sent the permit back to MPCA to determine  the greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated from expanding the farm. MPCA has now released its supplement to its Environmental Assessment Worksheet, and it contains...

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MIT: Organic Farming is Worse for the Environment Than Conventional Farming

If you've ever had the misfortune of meeting someone who eats organic food because they think they are saving the world from climate change, you know first hand how insufferable this situation can be. Luckily for you, you can deliver a comeuppance for their snobbery the next time you see them because a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that organic farming is actually worse for the environment than conventional farming methods because it is less efficient. The summary of the study begins: Organic practices can reduce climate pollution produced directly from farming – which would be fantastic if they...

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In Response: Dairy Farm Expansion Will Have Zero Significant Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In a recent AgriNews editorial entitled "Significant Environmental Impacts Must Be Identified," Vance and Bonnie Haugen claimed my article detailing how regulating greenhouse gas emissions from a dairy farm in Minnesota would produce zero measurable environmental benefits was baseless, irresponsible, and disingenuous, but never once did the authors offer a shred evidence to support their claim. The authors stared by calling my article a distraction from the current issues farmers face, but my article was not a distraction, it was a warning that this list of challenges will only get longer if groups like the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) and the...

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A Prosperity Agenda

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 Issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. Every year, Center of the American Experiment gets involved in helping to defeat bad ideas proposed at the Minnesota Legislature. In addition, the Center has a positive agenda of legislation that we want to see enacted. That agenda takes into account, of course, the political landscape. But regardless of partisan alignment, there are some ideas so strong, and some policies so obviously beneficial, that they may be enacted despite partisan gridlock. The...

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The State of Electric Cars?

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 Issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. Are Minnesotans eager to embrace a future that includes large numbers of electric vehicles, mandated by a state government rule? That is the subject of the cover story in this issue of Thinking Minnesota. When we asked Minnesota voters, we found very little support for that initiative. The Thinking Minnesota Poll was conducted by Meeting Street Research. Interviews were completed December 12-15, 2019 among 500 registered voters with a mix of cell phone...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 5: American Farmers Are Saving the Trees Through Innovation

On Tuesday, I wrote about how a recent study has found that there are more trees and vegetation today than there was 30 years ago, despite the fact that there are about 3 billion more people on the planet today than there was in 1980. One of the key reasons for this regrowth of trees around the world was agricultural abandonment, meaning we are using fewer acres to grow our food and these acres are now free for the trees. If one were to assume the gloom and doomers are correct, this should mean that food prices have skyrocketed and that there...

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Gas Tax Issue Illustrates Rural, Urban Divide

The Star Tribune recently ran an opinion piece by James Lenfestey, who advocated for an increase in the gas tax to finance infrastructure improvements and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but cautioned lawmakers to keep rural Minnesotans in mind when crafting this policy. While it is admirable that the author wants to be sensitive to the needs of rural Minnesotans, the editorial further illustrates how people living in the metro area have scant idea how the policies they advocate harm those living outside of it....

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