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Northstar train extension likely derailed by COVID budget woes

The last time cheerleaders for the Northstar commuter train made a move to extend the massively subsidized line beyond Big Lake to St. Cloud, the 2008 Great Recession doomed their pet project. Taxpayers can only hope the new state budget realities caused by COVID-19 lead to the same result as special interest groups unveil the first big study in years proposing to extend both the line and the financial burden on Minnesotans, who already subsidize roughly 80 percent of the cost of each Northstar passenger's ticket, around $20 per ride. Moreover, the construction costs associated with building out the line would be...

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Department of Vehicles Services in Hot Water Again for Late License Tabs

The more things change, the more they remain the same at the Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services. Once again the DMV has failed to provide one of the most basic services Minnesotans rely on state government for in a timely manner. As a result, thousands of residents who've paid for their license tab renewal stickers have been left hanging, according to the Star Tribune. Mike McClure mailed his license tab renewal form and fee to the Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) in mid-May and expected to have new stickers before his current tabs expired May 31. His check was cashed, but...

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Minnesotans Don’t Want California Car Mandates, Even If the Natural Resources Defense Council Does

On April 16, 2020 the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wrote an article entitled "Minnesotans Want Clean Cars: The Oil Industry, Not So Much." The article, which mentions Center of the American Experiment by name, was meant to be a defense of Governor Walz's attempt to force Minnesotans to obey California car mandates for low emissions vehicles and zero emissions vehicles. However, the NRDC article made several easily-refutable claims that merit correcting, and these claims will be discussed below. In reality, American Experiment's polling has found that California's car regulations are deeply unpopular in Minnesota because the vast majority of Minnesotans...

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Confirmed: The Met Council’s dangerous “transit-oriented development” crusade

The Metropolitan Council is on a crusade to “densify” the Twin Cities, and that means reorganizing our metro area around public transit. The Council’s guiding principle is “transit-oriented development." But the coronavirus pandemic should be a wake-up call that “transit-oriented development” poses risks we previously hadn’t dreamed of....

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Metro Transit to Limit Bus Ridership During COVID-19 Outbreak

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Metro Transit will limit the number of riders who can board buses during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new policy is an admission, if not an overt one, that it is difficult to adhere to social distancing guidelines when buses are full. The article reads: Metro Transit announced new steps on Wednesday to promote social distancing on its buses, including a suggestion that passengers wear a mask or face covering while aboard. In addition, Metro Transit said only 10 passengers will be permitted on 40-foot buses, and 15 on 60-foot buses. If a bus is full, its overhead display...

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Walz Administration Plans to Push Ahead with Controversial California Car Mandates After Coronavirus Situation has Settled

On April 3, 2020, the Walz Administration announced that it still plans on pushing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to adopt California's controversial car mandates for low emission vehicles (LEV) and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) in Minnesota before the end of 2020, but that the original timeline would be pushed back as a result of the Coronavirus. While American Experiment has been the leading critic of the Walz Administration's attempt to adopt California's car standards because it will violate the private property rights of auto dealers, increase costs for consumers by $2,000 to $2,500 per vehicle, force auto dealers to...

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Why Gas Engines Are Far From Dead- Biggest EV Problems

Proponents of Governor Walz's California Car mandates have argued that electric vehicles are the wave of the future, and that mandates for electric cars are needed to supply the large pent up demand for the cars. These talking points are not supported by the data, yet they persist. The video below does a great job explaining some of the biggest challenges electric vehicles face, and why car companies and consumers continue to prefer their gas-powered cars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hatav_Rdnno...

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Efforts to Prevent The Walz Administration’s California Car Mandates Advance in the Senate

Today was a step forward for the efforts of conservative lawmakers to prevent the Walz administration from imposing unpopular California car mandates on Minnesotans. Senate File 3496 passed out of the Minnesota Senate's State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. You can watch the hearing on the bill at the link below. https://www.facebook.com/mnsrc/videos/2275278436108528/?comment_id=2275304272772611&notif_id=1583437629234897&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic   I've previously testified in front of the Senate on this bill, explaining why it would be beneficial for Minnesota consumers. I also detailed that while the costs would be significant, the environmental benefits would be immeasurably small. It is encouraging to see that the Walz administration's attempt to...

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Tune in at 1pm As Isaac Orr Testifies (Again) on Governor Walz’s California Car Mandates

The Minnesota Senate has introduced a bill that would expressly prohibit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) from adopting California's controversial car mandates and they have asked me to testify on the bill. In short, the bill scales back the authority of the MPCA to set maximum emissions standards for motor vehicles in Minnesota, effectively removing any ability for the MPCA to force Minnesotans to obey the dictates of unelected bureaucrats in California. Tune in to my testimony by clicking here.  ...

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