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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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Rift Over Mining Splits Duluth DFL

A food fight has broken out in the press and on social media between DFL factions in Duluth. On the surface it's about a vulgar private Facebook message sent over the weekend by Duluth City Council President Joel Sipress to Justin Perpich, chair of the Eighth Congressional district DFL and former aide to Rep. Rick Nolan. Perpich went public with the thread, leading WDIO-TV and other Duluth outlets to share the redacted message with their audience. "I was shocked," Perpich said in an email. "I wanted to share this post because I wanted to call attention to aggressive online bullying and personal...

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Minneapolis Eliminates Parking Spots to Deter Driving

The parking shortage in Minneapolis is a lot like the Twin Cities traffic congestion crisis American Experiment highlighted this summer. It's self-inflicted by politicians, urban planners and environmentalists determined to dramatically alter our lifestyle, especially when it comes to cars. Turns out Minneapolis drivers have lost 2,400 private parking spots in ramps and lots overall in just the last three years. And Minneapolis officials don't deny it to the Star Tribune. City officials have been holding back downtown parking construction for years. Lately they have doubled down, investing in bicycle lanes and approving new apartment buildings with few parking spaces that encourage...

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A Little Clear Thinking and Perspective on the Houston Flood and Climate Change

As Houston still struggles through the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history we can be thankful that wealth, technology, planning, and generous help from neighbors has kept the loss of life to a minimum so far.  The Galveston hurricane of 1900 killed around 8,000 and Katrina tragically took over 1,800 lives.  Thankfully Harvey’s total is less than 1/50 of Katrina’s total so far. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I didn’t see much climate alarmist blaming the first few days of the tragedy but now that that is over we need to inject some facts and logic to show that...

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Busted! Cops Crack Down on Enbridge Pipeline Extremists

  No more nice guy. Days after allowing 20 or so "water protectors" to stop work without consequences at the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project outside Superior, Wisconsin, Douglas County authorities delivered a message. Deputies arrested six environmental extremists who took over the work site again and temporarily shut it down yesterday, according to Duluth News Tribune. The protesters live-streamed video from the worksite on social media after sunrise and before the authorities arrived. The protests were calling for the removal of Line 3. "We're here in a peaceful, safe way to show you that this can't go through," one female protester can...

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Cops Let Enviros “Do Their Thing” and Shut Down New Pipeline

The "water protectors" have resurfaced in northwestern Wisconsin, targeting another strategic oil pipeline project. But this time they did it with the tacit acceptance of local law enforcement. The Duluth News Tribune reports that Douglas County deputies were under instructions to basically stand down Monday, as about two dozen environmental extremists shut down construction of the Enbridge 3 replacement pipeline near Superior, Wisconsin. Some protesters wore masks covering their faces and could be seen in videos locking themselves to heavy equipment. Others were overheard telling workers to "go home early," "stop destroying our mother" and "we're here to protect the water." They...

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Dakota Access Pipeline Sues Greenpeace Protesters

Environmental protests have become an accepted cost of doing business for companies involved in natural resource projects--until now. Energy Transfer Partners has just filed suit against Greenpeace and two other protest groups that held up the Dakota Access pipeline project for months last year. The Texas pipeline company has invoked federal racketeering laws to seek damages that could reach $1 billion, according to the AP. The company alleges that the groups' actions interfered with its business, facilitated crimes and acts of terrorism, incited violence, targeted financial institutions that backed the project and violated racketeering and defamation laws. The company seeks a trial and monetary...

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Opposition to logging and mining undermine northern Minnesota’s economy and global environment

Rep. Tom Emmer is stepping up efforts to stop an 11th hour action by the Obama administration to severely curtail mining in northern Minnesota.  He outlined what’s at stake for Minnesota’s economy in an op-ed in yesterday’s Star Tribune. Coincidently, the newspaper ran a separate story reporting on opposition to a proposed timber harvest proposed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the same northern Minnesota neighborhood where the Obama administration set out to stop mining. Both issues pit those who would prefer leaving Minnesota’s north woods untouched—and, by the way, unmanaged—against those who believe extracting those natural resources can strengthen...

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