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MN Taxpayers Fund Controversial Anti-Pipeline Video Game

A controversial new video game that industry critics claim supports eco-terrorism by directing players to destroy pipelines, oil trucks and other industry infrastructure was developed with $3,290 in taxpayer support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Artist Elizabeth LaPensee, who formerly lived in Duluth, received a total of $7,000 from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, including an unspecified amount of taxpayer financial support from the state's general fund. Now a professor at Michigan State University, LaPensee maintains the "Thunderbird Strike" game was designed to empower indigenous people, not provoke violence. But the revelation that taxpayer funds were spent on such a...

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State Agency Bows to Militant Activists Canceling Pipeline Hearings

State officials have abruptly cancelled two public hearings on the $2.6 billion Enbridge 3 pipeline construction project scheduled in St. Cloud today due to "logistical and safety issues." The cancellation follows the contentious curtailment of a Duluth public hearing last week in which a mob of about 15 activists disrupted the proceedings before a stunned standing-room-only crowd. American Experiment posted video of the confrontation in which police largely stood by as militant activists forced an early end to the Duluth hearing. A group of about 15 militant activists hijacked the proceedings, trading turns shouting barbs at [Administrative Law Judge Ann] O’Reilly and...

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Bipartisan Support for State Wolf Management Angers Enviro Hardliners

[caption id="attachment_8112" align="alignleft" width="300"] Calf Injured by Wolf-mnfarmliving.com[/caption] The federal program to control problem wolves that prey on livestock in northern Minnesota had to shut down last week. The Itasca County-based unit had already caught and killed more wolves than usual by mid-October, as noted by the Duluth News Tribune. But it ran out of funding. That's a big deal to farmers and cattle ranchers who can no longer defend their livestock themselves, following the intervention of a Washington, DC federal judge in 2014. With a rising population of wolves and more of them attacking livestock and pets, a federal program to trap...

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Iron Range Up in Arms Over State’s Latest Environmental Overreach

Iron Range mining, union and community leaders have their backs against the wall again, thanks to environmental activists and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. They say an unenforceable proposed MPCA regulation aimed at raising water quality standards for wild rice could decimate industry and cost local taxpayers millions for upgraded water treatment facilities. The Iron Mining Association website puts it this way: The proposed standard has not been proven to protect or increase the health of wild rice. Moreover, the proposed standard predicts the wrong outcome up to one in five times. This is unacceptable when the costs of implementation are estimated...

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In Minnesota, “Green” Energy Fails Every Test

Liberals will tell you that Minnesota is one of the nation's leaders in "green" energy, so its experience represents a good test: can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers? The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment's Peter Nelson. The paper, titled "Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure," can be read or downloaded here. Minnesota is a poor place for solar power, so our renewable policies have focused on wind. Minnesota has gone whole hog for wind energy, to the tune of--the Hayward/Nelson...

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MN Unions and Businesses Throw Clout Behind $2 Billion Pipeline

Kudos to the environmental activists plotting to turn the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project into the next Keystone XL or Dakota Access fiasco. They've managed to bring together two groups that more often oppose each other to consolidate their collective political influence behind approval of the $2 billion pipeline in the Star Tribune's editorial pages. In Minnesota we’re fortunate to have a well-advanced alternative, an entirely private infrastructure project that would put 6,500 Minnesotans to work over two years, with an economic impact of more than $2 billion for the state, including outstate areas that sorely need it. We’re talking about Enbridge...

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Pipeline Protesters Camp Out in Northern MN

Pipeline protesters gearing up to oppose the $2 billion Enbridge 3 replacement project have been put on notice by St. Louis County authorities. The county has issued a reminder to a private landowner about zoning restrictions on large groups, including some of whom the Duluth News Tribune reports participated in recent protests at the Enbridge construction site on the Wisconsin section of the pipeline. The owner of the land where people identifying themselves as water protectors are camping told the News Tribune he's "not worried" and will ignore a St. Louis County letter seeking his compliance with campground ordinances. "What (the county)...

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Time for Minnesota to update 1970s-era pipeline permitting process

A series of public hearings started yesterday on whether there is a “need” to replace the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline that carries crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.  The first hearing took place in Thief River Falls and, according to TRF Radio,  supporting testimony “far outweighed those against.” To gain approval, oil pipelines have been required to acquire a certificate of need at least as far back as 1974.  State law requires oil pipelines to follow essentially the same procedure to demonstrate need as electric power generating plants and high voltage powerlines. Considering how these laws date back to an...

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MN Wolf Population Way Up But Court Still Bans State Management

The number of wolves in Minnesota soared last year, confirming the predator's comeback as one of the Endangered Species List's success stories. The wolf population leaped forward 25 percent thanks to a corresponding increase in the whitetail deer herd, according to the Duluth News Tribune. But to many environmentalists, success means keeping wolves on the ESL, no matter what the science shows. The DNR said its annual survey showed an estimated 2,856 wolves spread among 500 packs, up from 2,278 wolves in 438 packs in the 2015-2016 survey. Wolf numbers had remained flat or declined some for several years before this year’s jump. DNR...

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