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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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Xcel Energy Sponsors Gala for Anti-Mining, Anti-Farming, Pro-Wind and Solar Green Group To Help Them Pad Their Profits

Minnesota families saw their electricity bills reach a new all-time high in 2018 due to an increasing reliance on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power. Despite the fact that Minnesota is already on track to meet current renewable energy mandates, Xcel Energy wants exceed these regulations by building 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, a massive amount, and shutting down their existing coal plants, which produce some of the lowest cost electricity in the state. It appears Xcel is enlisting the help of the Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to help gain public approval for this plan by...

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Cows in the Crosshairs: Environmental Groups Take Aim at Minnesota Farmers

After "farting cows" were identified as a climate risk to the planet in a document released by the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez addressing frequently asked questions about the Green New Deal, many people in Minnesota were quick to dismiss the idea that the state would begin to regulate farms based on their greenhouse gas emissions. However, it turns out that that is exactly what some Minnesota environmental groups want the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to do. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), a known anti-mining group and recipient of $530,000 from the McKnight Foundation in 2018, sued...

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The War on Greater Minnesota

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 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. Picture Minnesota. Do you think of lakes, farm fields, and winding country roads, or busy city streets framed by the Minneapolis skyline? The answer depends a lot on which part of our diverse state you call home. Most multigenerational Minnesotans can trace their roots back to ancestors who made their living on the land in small rural towns, either as farmers or miners. Now, more than half of Minnesotans live in the seven-county Twin Cities...

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