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Property Rights Activists Slam Supreme Court Decision on St. Croix River

Property rights activists are slamming a U.S. Supreme Court case involving land along the St. Croix River near the Twin Cities that strengthens the hand of government environmental regulators nationwide.  They say the precedent-setting decision against landowners on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River in Wisconsin undercuts individual property rights across the country. The case involved a family that wanted to sell one of two lots on the river bluff in order to finance improvements on a cabin on the other lot in a case covered in the Twin Cities media for years.  The lot in question was assessed...

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Key Members of Congress Support Overturning Obama MN Mining Ban

The effort to overturn the Obama administration's last-minute ban on mining in northern Minnesota just reached a new level. The chairs of two key congressional subcommittees got a first hand look at the area on Monday, pledging to urge the Trump administration to take action to reverse the mining moratorium. Rep. Rick Nolan served as tour guide in his home district, breaking ranks with many of his Democratic colleagues in working across the aisle to  supporting the mining industry in an area that supported Trump. The Duluth News Tribune reports the delegation included some heavy hitters. Nolan, D-Crosby, was joined by Republican Reps....

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Will He or Won’t He? Plastic Bag Ban Now Up to Governor

The ordinance banning plastic bags for many commercial uses in Minneapolis takes effect June 1. So close and yet so far for the environmental special interests determined to make the cost of doing business more expensive for everyone, including consumers.  Now it's all up to Gov. Dayton. If as expected Dayton signs the jobs and economic development bill on his desk, the plastic bag ban will be stopped. A provision in the bill prohibits local governments from outlawing plastic bags, just in time to stop Minneapolis. But the Star Tribune reports business still have to prepare for the worst, just in...

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Government Red Tape Could Hold Up Duluth Ski Project for Years

The good news? The feds support Lutsen Mountains ski resort's planned expansion. The project would nearly double the amount of slopes for skiing by using 400 acres of bordering land in Superior National Forest. Everyone appears to be on the same page, most importantly the National Forest Service.   The expansion project could boost employment at peak ski season from about 250 to about 450 people. The company says the "proposed expansion and application for a special use permit is consistent with the Forest Service mission for this land and is similar to permits issued to other ski areas across the...

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Tax the rich? Done. Chase them from the State? Done.

So what has Dayton done with billions in new revenue? “The net effect is still that under Dayton, Minnesota’s tax system has become meaningfully less regressive. But it should be said that this governor has taxed the rich in order to fund government, not to reduce the tax burden on others.” ...

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As Minneapolis plastic bag ban nears, state agency says environmental benefits of paper over plastic is a myth

A Minneapolis ban on plastic bags is set to take effect on June 1.  According to a city news release, the purpose of the ban is "to reduce the litter, waste, environmental impacts and expense of managing carryout bags." No doubt city council members feel pretty good about themselves.  But feeling good and doing good are, of course, two different things.  It turns out the plastic bag ban likely won't deliver the environmental benefits advocates claim. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently posted an article busting seven green myths,  the seventh myth being the belief that paper bags are environmentally superior...

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State Regulators Holding Up Another Critical Oil Pipeline

Here's another case in point for those who still wonder why rural Minnesotans have largely abandoned the DFL in recent elections. The Dayton administration's heavy-handed approach to environmental regulation has already led Enbridge Energy to abandon plans to construct the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline through northern Minnesota. Environmentalists won out over construction labor unions whose members and communities would have benefited from thousands of well-paying jobs and pipeline taxes. Now state regulators under the direction of scandal-plagued, scandal-ridden Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman have hit the replay button with an Enbridge replacement pipeline that should be a no-brainer. The Minnesota Department...

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Is the Minnesota Commerce Department Out of Control?

Most of what happens behind the scenes at state agencies stays behind the scenes. The gears of government grind on, leaving taxpayers little choice but to trust that officials act in their best interest. But three recent legal cases involving the Minnesota Department of Commerce have provided ammunition for critics of the entrenched administrative state and unelected regulators that run it. “Court opinions and other legal filings published in the past several months have afforded Minnesotans a stark look at the internal operations of the Minnesota Department of Commerce,” Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) and Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury) wrote in a...

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Understanding the New Tax Plan America Needs

Respected economist Lawrence Lindsey has written a piece in the Weekly Standard that explains why the House Republican tax plan “is exactly targeted at the economic ills that afflict our country.”  First he establishes that the American economy really is sick: “From 2011-2016 we observed the poorest economic expansion on record.” “Barak Obama was the first president without a year of 3 percent real GDP growth while in office.” “[F]rom 2011-2016, annual growth averaged more than a full point less than growth from 1965-2010, a period that includes drag from multiple recessions.” “[G]rowth in real personal incomes and wages lagged behind the long-term historic...

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