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The Twin Cities’ ‘affordable housing’ shortage was caused by their politicians

A new report finds that the 'affordable housing' crisis in the Twin Cities is a creation of state and local government here. Regulations, passed by lawmakers here, have driven costs up. Is it really sensible to try to solve a problem caused by political regulation with another round of political regulation? ...

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State Agency: Your Clothes Are Polluting the Planet

You probably don't think of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as a go-to source for fashion tips. But in its latest "Living Green 365" bulletin, the state agency urges Minnesotans to check out their wardrobes. In case you weren't aware of it, your clothes are polluting the planet. Take a look in your closet. What do you see? Clothes you wear? Clothes you never wear? You’re probably not thinking that’s a lot of plastic. Plastic —polyester, acrylic, nylon, and other synthetic fibers—is about 60% of the material that makes up our clothes. And it turns out those synthetic fabrics we’ve been comfortably wearing...

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Last Week’s Cold, This Week’s Trespassers, Shows We Need a Pipeline Protection Bill

Last week saw temperatures in Minnesota plummet to 24 below zero in the Twin Cities, and International Falls registered a temperature of minus 36 degrees. It was so cold outside that Xcel Energy had to urge its 460,000 natural as customers to turn their thermostats down to 63 degrees or face widespread shortages of natural gas, putting hundreds of thousands of people on edge, worrying about whether they could stay warm. Part of the problem  was a strain Xcel's natural gas distribution system, and this will likely need to be remedied with more pipeline infrastructure, if Xcel can get it built. This...

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Help Wanted: City Compliance Officer to Monitor Duluth Businesses

Duluth City Hall continues to proceed full-speed ahead with hiring a full-time "compliance officer" to enforce a controversial paid-time off mandate scheduled to take effect next year. Many  employers predict will be a nightmare for both the city and businesses. But Duluth Mayor Emily Larson told the Duluth News Tribune it's a no-brainer. "It was a pretty simple decision, because this is a significant undertaking. It was an issue that really required a lot of discussion, a lot of debate, a lot of discernment, and it's time to implement it and get it right," she said. The government gig pays up to...

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Look for the Winter Issue of Thinking Minnesota ft. Minnesota’s Beer Boom

Minnesota’s craft beer industry has boomed over the past several years thanks to legislative reforms focused on deregulation and tax cuts. The 2019 Winter Issue of Thinking Minnesota features a cover story by the Center’s Economist John Phelan on Minnesota’s beer boom and how deregulation and tax cuts enabled brewers to thrive....

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Shrimp Plant Picks South Dakota Due to MN Red Tape

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard didn't hold anything back in one of his last official acts in office when it came to his neighbor to the east.  Daugaard announced that South Dakota had beat out Minnesota after all for a new Tru Shrimp agricultural production facility the Star Tribune had reported would be built on the other side of the border in Luverne. It’s already generating revenue for Luverne. More than 30 employees from places like Hawaii, India and the fisheries division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are spending some of their paychecks in town. But at the last minute Minnesota...

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Some parts of the federal government should stay shut down

We are entering the third week of the federal government shut down and American society has not devolved to the level of Fury Road. The fact that the United States has continued to function more or less as it did before with something like 25% of the federal government shut down demonstrates that federal government is at least 25% too big. ...

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New York Times Climate Model Shows Minnesota Has Cooled

"How much hotter is your hometown than when you were born?" That's the inflammatory headline of the New York Times interactive tool designed to demonstrate on a personal level that cataclysmic global warming has already hit home. As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher. See how your hometown has changed so far and how much hotter it may get. I discovered it on the Facebook page of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which leads the state's Interagency Climate Adaptation Team...

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