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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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Activists Lose Latest Round in Vital Pipeline Replacement Project

If they keep this up, the rabble-rousers opposed to the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project may yet prove there's something to the layman's definition of insanity. The hard-core group of anti-pipeline activists was back at it again today doing the same thing as in previous public meetings, namely disrupting a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearing, while evidently expecting different results. But their predictable antics backfired again, according to Fox-9 News. The MPUC board ignored the noisy shouting and unanimously affirmed its support for the critical pipeline. State regulators on Monday refused to reconsider their decision granting the go-ahead of the controversial Enbridge...

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MPUC Chair’s Nomination for New Job Raises Concerns

Remember the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Chair who was so torn over the burdens of exercising her authority over the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project last summer that she sobbed during the panel's deliberations? MPR's coverage left little to the imagination. PUC Chair Nancy Lange broke down at one point, grabbing a handful of tissues and expressing how conflicted she was about allowing fossil fuels to cross the state for decades to come. "How would I feel if I woke up in five years and that line had leaked?" Lange said, referring to the possibility that the old Line 3 would continue operating, despite...

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Being pro-free enterprise is not the same as being pro-big business

There is no problem with big businesses per se. If they have grown and stayed big by producing goods and services that consumers want to purchase, they are to be applauded. This is a good thing. But where they have gained and maintained their size by sucking up to the government, that is to be opposed. ...

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