MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA

Minnesota is home to 5.6 million people with a land area of 89 thousand square miles, making Minnesota the 12th largest state in the US and the 22nd most populous. It is known for its 11,800 lakes, its freezing weather with average winter temperatures of eight degrees Fahrenheit and its stunning amount of snowfall, often getting around 70 inches per year.

Like many other midwestern states, Minnesota is warming quickly and buffeted by more supercharged weather — heat waves, droughts, deluges, wind storms, flooding and even wildfires. Those famous cold winters are warming up at thirteen times the rate of its summers, and its biggest city, Minneapolis, has been classified as one of the nation’s fastest-warming cities. The increasing warmth is taking a toll on the state’s natural environment, especially up north in its boreal forests. Many of Minnesota’s trees, including spruce, fir, paper birch, and quaking aspen, are likely to rapidly decline or even die out completely within the next decade if the warming persists.

The warming winters are also harming Minnesota’s famous lakes, which are freezing later and thawing earlier, making them easy targets for voracious new pests, deadly, parasites, and toxic algae. Another threat to the lakes are the more frequent storms, usually carrying fertilizer runoff from Minnesota’s farming sector,  which contribute to the death of species in lakes via a process called eutrophication, in which the fertilizer fertilizes algae in lakes, causing the populations to explode and promptly die off, using up the lake’s oxygen as they decompose. No oxygen means no life can be supported in the water. Needless to say, Minnesota’s fish populations are also suffering from significant habitat loss.

Floods and droughts, also a result of global warming, are impacting Minnesota’s significant agriculture industry causing, among other things, flash floods, which can be deadly.

With agriculture,  forests, and waters in peril, all of Minnesota’s ecosystems are in greater danger. All of this jeopardizes Minnesota’s tourism industry, which represents 11% of its private job market.

Recognition of the problems created by climate change has generated  some political response. In 2007, Minnesota’s governor signed the Next Generation Energy Act with support from both sides of the aisle. The act set goals for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 80% between 2005 and 2050, while supporting clean energy, energy efficiency, and supplementing other renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Interim goals were also set: a 15% reduction by 2015, and a 30% reduction by 2025. The act also included initiatives to fund in-state conservation programs and community-based energy development. In 2007 when the act was first signed, it made Minnesota second only to California in the toughness of emissions reduction legislation. Unfortunately, as of July 2016, it had missed all of its goals and under the leadership of Lt. Governor Tina Smith, it published a Call to Action.

In February, 2020, legislators introduced bill HF3436, which takes on climate change from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. If passed it would establish nine grant programs into which Minnesota residents, companies, and school districts could tap in order to diminish the carbon they release into the air by using renewable energy sources. It features a pair of rebate programs and a revolving loan fund. There would be specific grants for homeowners, public schools, and nursing homes, plus programs to help schools and cities purchase electric buses. The bill has yet to make it through the Minnesota legislature.

The bill that did pass and was signed into law at the end of June, 2021, by Gov. Tim Walz is the Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy bill.  He also signed the Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act  into law on May 25, 2021. The bill modernizes the state’s Conservation Improvement Program, a long-term energy- efficiency policy that experts say has saved Minnesotans billions of dollars while avoiding millions of tons in carbon emissions since it began in the 1980s.

Minnesota was the nation’s fourth-largest ethanol producer in 2018. About 30% of all U.S. crude oil imports flow through Minnesota. 25% of utility-scale electricity generation in Minnesota came from coal-fired electric power plants in 2020, down from 53% in 2011. In the same year, Minnesota’s two nuclear power plants fueled 26% of the state’s electrical generation, supplying the largest share of state generation for the first time. However, renewable energy, primarily wind, fueled even more, at 29%. In 2020, Minnesota ranked ninth in the nation in total generation from wind energy with the state’s wind farms accounted for 22% of the total in-state electricity net generation and 74% of renewable generation.

Minnesota’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) applies to all electricity providers in the state. It requires that the state’s utilities, with the exception of the state’s largest utility, generate or procure at least 25% of electricity retail sales from eligible renewable sources by 2025. The state’s largest utility had to obtain 30% of its retail electricity sales from renewable energy by the end of 2020. All public utilities in the state had a further obligation to acquire 1.5% of all retail electricity sales from solar energy by 2020. In addition to the requirements of the RPS, Minnesota has a statewide goal of 10% solar by 2030 for all public utilities. Minnesota utilities have already reached the 25% by 2025 requirement.

They are exploring some fascinating new directions:

  • for example,  a new renewable energy source, a“thermal battery”to power hundreds of apartment units from the Jordan Aquifer.  It can store heat in the summer for use in the winter and likewise with the cold. It will be the first of its kind in Minnesota.
  • a solar panel manufacture called Heliene is preparing to buildthe 2ndlargest solar panel manufacturing plant in the country in Minnesota’s Iron Range.
  • batteries are being installed in a Minneapolis green jobs training center in one of the country’s first“virtual power plant”power projects with each battery simulating a household buying and selling power with its neighbors.
  • a solar microgridis being developed on the Red Lake Reservation by Robert Blake, founder of the Minneapolis-based solar installation company Solar Bear.
  • Xcel Energy, plans toaccelerate decarbonization effortscutting emissions by 85% by 2030, in its shift from fossil fuels to renewables.

Minnesota is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Important DNR investments included in the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward

01/26/22
Today’s announcement of the final piece of the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward gives the full picture of 2022 investments in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ work. The Walz-Flanagan budget proposal for the…

GOVERNOR WALZ, LIEUTENANT GOERNOR FLANAGAN ANNOUNCE PLAN TO PROTECT MINNESOTANS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY

01/26/22
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced proposals to protect Minnesotans’ health and safety in the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward – the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s supplemental budget recommendation for…

Land & Liberty Coalition Launches in Maryland

01/21/22
“We hope to advance energy policies that make way for clean energy while respecting the unique qualities of each development locale,” said Jackson Keith, Land & Liberty Coalition director. “It’s important that Marylanders who live…

Solar Power Bridges The Political Divide In New & Different Ways

01/21/22
It’s an unfortunate fact of life in the 21st century that support for renewable energy falls along political lines in the US Congress, but that’s nothing new. Energy policy has always been political. Besides, signs…

Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams 2022 Seed Grants double number of 2021 projects

01/21/22
That’s more than twice last year’s number, the release said. Minnesota legislators renewed $140,000 for the grants allocations and the department used $120,000 in U.S. Department of Energy funds. Morgan Family Foundation added $70,000. This…

‘We have a lot to lose’: 16 Minnesota cities declare climate emergency, urge legislative action

01/19/22
Sixteen Minnesota cities, from the North Shore to metro area to southeastern bluff country, are declaring a climate emergency, sending a message to lawmakers ahead of this legislative session that the time for action is…

Minnesota House DFL proposes spending $1B of surplus on climate plan

01/19/22
Minnesota House Democrats are proposing the state use $1 billion of its projected, record-breaking $7.7 billion budget surplus for a wide range of legislation aimed at curbing the effects of human-caused climate change.

City approves Sustainable Building Policy; Rice County making more climate friendly efforts; Temple says NPB has exciting things on the horizon

01/05/22
Last night the Northfield City Council passed a new sustainable building policy that will require new construction receiving subsidy from the city to meet higher environmentally friendly standards than those required by the State of…

Green energy is coming to Prospect Park

09/28/21
On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $2 million loan for the Towerside Innovation District to build a renewable energy source that could save 500 thousand tons of carbon.

Minneapolis battery pilot will test vision for sharing solar power with neighbors

09/24/21
An energy storage pilot project in Minneapolis will help test a vision for how homeowners might someday share solar power directly with neighbors.

Tribal Solar Projects Provide More Than Climate Solutions

09/16/21
In August 2021, two wildfires surrounded the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in central Montana. By Aug. 11, more than 175,000 acres were ablaze, and all residents of Lame Deer, the largest town on the reservation,…

Minnesota’s Iron Range may soon be home to one of the largest solar panel manufacturing facilities in the country

09/13/21
Minnesota lawmakers made headlines earlier this year when they approved a bundle of financial incentives to draw a timber product mill to the city of Cohasset in northern Minnesota.

Xcel plans to roll out 10,000 MW of renewable energy in Minnesota, Colorado by 2030

07/30/21
Xcel Energy, in its second quarter earnings report on Thursday, said it plans to significantly accelerate decarbonization efforts in its home state of Minnesota and will cut emissions by 85% by 2030.

More EV charging stations on the horizon for Minnesota

By Evan Ramstad and Mike Hughlett Photo: Aaron Levinsky , Startribune 06/12/21
During the 30 to 40 minutes it takes to charge up, Duran talks to people or watches videos on his smartphone. With the charge costing around $15, Duran says the time is worth it.

Minnesota’s new ECO Act will help ease the burdens of energy costs on low-income families, including many people of color

By Andrew Hazzard Photo: Jaida Grey Eagle , Sahan Journal 05/28/21
A rare bipartisan bill aims to help Minnesota lower emissions while offering significant savings for low-income families, including many people of color.

Hennepin County’s new climate action plan preserves an unpopular old technology: burning garbage near north Minneapolis.

By Andrew Hazzard Photo: Ben Hovland , Sahan Journal 05/23/21
The Hennepin County Board set ambitious goals last month for emission reduction and environmental resilience by approving its first climate action plan.

Preparing for Climate Change in Minnesota

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Minnesota is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Minnesota state and regional initiatives

03/21/19
Find information about The Next Generation Energy Act, the Greenhouse gas emissions reduction report, and the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Initiative (CSEO).

Minnesota Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities

03/20/19
Minnesota is committed by statute to do its part for the climate by meeting its Next Generation Energy Act goals . This 2007 law requires the state cut its annual emissions of greenhouse gases by…

Welcome to Minneapolis 2040 – The City’s Comprehensive Plan

01/09/20
The City will use this plan to guide decision-making that affects the long-term future of our city as it relates to the built, natural, and economic environment.

KEY RESOURCES

Minnesota Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Like many states, Minnesota has invested heavily in home solar panels over the years, and those investments have paid off. The state has seen its solar energy production continue to increase in recent years, and…

Minnesota State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/06/21
Minnesota is one of the largest Midwestern states and extends further north than any of the other Lower 48 states. Although Minnesota has no fossil fuel reserves or production, the state plays an important role…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

A Report From The National Tribal Air Association And Moms Clean Air Force

08/16/21
The total numberof Indigenous people in the United States is between 2.5 and 6 million, of which 20% live on Tribal lands or in Alaska Native villages. There are 574 federally recognized Tribes, but this…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Minnesota

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Minnesota experienced one flood and two severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Minnesota

07/31/20
Minnesota’s climate is already changing. In the past century, the state has warmed by 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainstorms are becoming more intense, and annual rainfall is increasing. In the future, Minnesota can expect more floods,…

Renewable Energy In Minnesota

04/10/20
With nearly a century and half of experience, Minnesota's investor-owned utilities deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy 24/7/365.

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

04/08/20
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) is a member-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Minneapolis in 1978 and incorporated in Minnesota in 1979 to promote the use of, and to engage in advocacy for, renewable…

Sustainable Home Tour

04/03/20
Reaching the community through advocacy, education and awareness

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

02/27/20
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of, and engaging in the advocacy for, renewable energies in Minnesota through education and the demonstration of practical applications.

Renewable Energy In Minnesota

02/27/20
Information on Minnesota's progress on renewable energy from in-state investor owned electric and natural gas utilities.

MORE NEWS

Minnesota’s ice season is getting shorter, report finds

By Jennifer Austin   01/17/22  
Nick Sacco's job planning programming for the Three Rivers Park District has gotten a bit more difficult in the last five years or so. He says it's no longer a sure bet that he'll have…

Minn. Big Oil Climate Suit Follows Big Tobacco Blueprint

By Dennis Anderson and Jason Reeves   01/07/22  
When Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison announced in June 2020 that his office had filed a climate change lawsuit, the litigation strategy he described was relatively novel for a climate change case.

An Energy Transition Needs Lots of Power Lines. This 1970s Minnesota Farmers’ Uprising Tried to Block One. What Can it Teach Us?

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Luther Gerlach   01/03/22  
If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for…

California Cities Lead Nation in Clean Energy, New Report Finds

By Madeline Fitzgerald  Photo: Andrew Zarivny, Shutterstock   12/16/21  
San Francisco leads the nation in clean energy and other environmental initiatives, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

U of M to host new Midwest consortium dedicated to actionable climate science

09/29/21  
The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that the University of Minnesota will host a new partnership of higher education and natural resource institutions dedicated to advancing actionable science in response to the climate crisis in…

Network to boost clean energy jobs, fight climate change

09/29/21  
Minnesota institutions, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies join forces to provide demonstration and mentorship opportunities for inaugural clean energy cohort

La Niña watch: Mild fall with closer to average winter ahead?

By Paul Huttner   09/28/21  
A weak La Niña event could signal a closer to average winter for Minnesota. But it's fighting the trend of milder winters with climate change.

Dry conditions may have boosted Minnesota’s wild rice crop this year, but climate change leaves the future uncertain

By Yasmine Askari   09/28/21  
For years, Nancy Schuldt has taken part in the time-honored tradition of harvesting wild rice in northern Minnesota. And while this year’s historic drought has actually helped in yielding a good crop of wild rice…

In conservation fight, forests are a weapon — and a potential paycheck

By Jennifer Bjorhus  Photo: Brian Peterson , Star Tribune   09/25/21  
The woods up Blueberry Hill Road in northeast Minnesota are the Weideman family's escape, a place to unplug, track signs of bear and wolves, hunt grouse and wander.

Under student pressure, University of Minnesota to phase out fossil fuel investments

By Ryan Faircloth   09/24/21  
The University of Minnesota plans to withdraw all of its investments in fossil fuel-related companies over the next five to seven years amid pressure from students who want the school to do more to fight…

EGEB: Minnesota wins by compromising over a wind and solar farm and a historic site

By Michelle Lewis   09/23/21  
Apex Clean Energy is developing the Big Bend project, which will be one of Minnesota’s largest wind farms that will be paired with a big solar array near Comfrey, southwest of Minneapolis.

Minnesota farmers lack access to federal conservation dollars

By Patrick Condon  Photo: Aaron Lavinsky , Star Tribune   09/23/21  
Minnesota farmers are showing great interest in federal incentives to improve their conservation practices, but only a small minority have been successful in winning the grants.

Gov. Walz calls for ‘creative and courageous thinking’ during Minnesota Climate Week

By Kare 11 Staff   09/21/21  
This summer's extreme weather is showing the impact of our planet's changing climate, and organizations across the world are taking notice.

As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims ‘Minnesota Climate Week,’ Ilhan Omar Says ‘Stop Line 3’

By Kenny Stancil  Photo: Tim Evans , Getty Images   09/20/21  
"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

As Minnesota’s hunting seasons begin, climate change and the threats it poses lurk

By Dennis Anderson  Photo: Rob Dobi   09/17/21  
Arctic explorer Will Steger saw climate change coming 30 years ago. Ice that throughout human history had been hard as rock was melting, and caribou were forging new migration routes.

Minnesota expands environmental reviews to include greenhouse gas inventories

By Jennifer Bjorhus  Photo: Glenn Stubbe , Star Tribune   09/15/21  
As Minnesota ramps up the fight on climate change it will soon require developers to measure the greenhouse gases from large new projects.

Poll finds support among Minnesota voters for Clean Cars rule — and Line 3

By Walker Orenstein   09/14/21  
Over the last year, Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline and Gov. Tim Walz’s tougher new auto emissions standards have been two of the most fiercely debated environmental issues in Minnesota.

SE Minnesota trout face challenges from climate change

By John Molseed   09/08/21  
Mark Reisetter first started trout fishing while attending Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as a lark.
AP

‘Tinderbox conditions’ fuel fire in Superior National Forest

By AP   08/27/21  
Officials in the Superior National Forest said Thursday that the ongoing drought has created “tinderbox conditions” in northeastern Minnesota as firefighters continue to battle an uncontained wildfire, while rain that’s expected to fall in coming…

Biden Faces Mounting Pressure To Yank Line 3 Oil Pipeline Permits

By Alexander C. Kaufman  Photo: Karem Yucel , Getty Images   08/18/21  
Eight Democratic senators and nearly two dozen House members criticized the Biden administration for allowing pipeline giant Enbridge to continue building Line 3 across wetlands in a letter sent Monday that HuffPost viewed. The lawmakers…

Minnesota down 6,400 clean energy jobs in 2020, report says

By Rilyn Eischens   08/11/21  
Minnesota lost more than 6,400 sustainable energy jobs in 2020 — a decline of about 10%, according to a report released Wednesday.

Walz signs omnibus environment bill

By Fritz Busch   07/01/21  
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will receive $1 million in Fiscal Year 2021 and 2022 to fund the development and demonstration of a new water storage program starting with the Minnesota…

Minnesota environmental regulators tout electrification benefits at visit to truck maker

By Matthew Guerry  Photo: Matthew Guerry / Forum News Service   06/16/21  
 State environmental officials on Wednesday, June 16, highlighted the work of a Twin Cities-area electric truck maker for demonstrating the technology's potential to create jobs and cut carbon emissions.

Minnesota PUC approves $210M investment for Xcel Energy Northern Wind project

By Chris Galford   06/15/21  
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a proposal for an additional $210 million investment into Xcel Energy’s wind repower portfolio through its Northern Wind modernization project.

Minnesota appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

By Melissa Turtinen   06/14/21  
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the state's approval of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 pipeline replacement project, dealing a blow to tribes and environmentalists who are fighting the controversial pipeline.

Minnesota manufacturers jump on electric power bandwagon

By Patrick Kennedy   06/12/21  
Minnesota manufacturers of consumer products and industrial vehicles are converting them to electric power, away from gas and oil. And they're encountering the same tradeoffs seen for cars and trucks.

Minnesota freshwater lakes are rapidly losing oxygen as temperatures climb

By Greg Stanley  Photo: Brian Peterson , Star Tribune   06/12/21  
Freshwater lakes continue to get warmer across the globe, and an almost unseen problem has been growing far beneath the surface: The deepest, coldest reaches of lakes are rapidly losing oxygen.

Drought conditions are rapidly expanding across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

By Todd Nelson   06/12/21  
Little rainfall fell this week, except in some parts of far northern Minnesota where over an inch of rainfall was reported. Gunflint Lake (Cook County) and Orr (St Louis County) reported over 2 inches of…

State of Minnesota Progress on Clean Energy Goals Published in Department of Commerce Report

06/11/21  
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has published the Energy Policy and Conservation Quadrennial Report 2020, along with the digital Minnesota Energy Data Dashboard, to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the State of Minnesota’s…

Climate change, land use imperil lakes, according to new research that included Minnesota lakes

By Karen Tolkkinen   06/04/21  
Oxygen levels dropping faster in freshwater lakes than in the oceans, according to new research from the University of Minnesota and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

NOAA: Minnesota warming faster than other states

By Chris Hrapsky   05/08/21  
 Minnesota’s 30-year climate report card is in, and it shows the state is getting hotter, wetter, and more severe.

Greenhouse gases from Line 3 pipeline raise questions about meeting Minnesota’s goals for cutting emissions

By Jennifer Bjorhus  Photo by Richard Tsong   03/28/21  
In an Aug. 21, 2017 photo, workers make sure that each section of the replacement Line 3 that is joined passes muster. Enbridge already has started building the 14-mile stretch of Line 3 from the…

A fight is brewing over an oil pipeline and it’s pitting Native groups against Big Oil

By Kailani Koenig and Cal Perry  Photo: Kailani Koenig   03/27/21  
On the edge of the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, Tania Aubid stares at the slushy waters that thaw a little more with every passing spring day. Once the river is no longer frozen, she’s…

Groups push climate change study of upper Mississippi River

By John Davis   03/26/21  
 Environmental groups are calling on Midwestern governors to produce a climate change study of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

Once-wilting Gevo shuttered its Minnesota operation, but sprouts new life

By Neil Saint Anthony   03/26/21  
What is green, has Minnesota roots and soared in value from $1 to $15 per share over the past year amid tremendous speculation about its born-again future? Before slipping back to Earth in recent weeks?

In northern Minnesota, the Line 3 oil pipeline remains a lightning rod for debate

By Danny Spewak  Photo by Giniw   03/25/21  
 The sounds of construction have echoed through the Fond du Lac Reservation this winter and early spring, as hardened union workers dig ditches and clear paths for the Line 3 replacement project.
VOX

The Indigenous-led fight to stop the Line 3 oil pipeline expansion in Minnesota, explained

By Jariel Arvin  Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images   03/25/21  
“Valentine’s Day is about love and having that love for your partner — but for me to have the love, I need to start from the ground up, which is Mother Earth,” Aubid told me.…

County boundaries become barriers for community solar in Minnesota

By Mark Jossi  Photo by Jimmy Emerson   03/24/21  
Minnesota solar developers are lobbying state lawmakers to let customers subscribe to community solar projects built farther from their homes or businesses.

$2.9 Million Proposal Would Better Prepare Minnesota Communities for Effects of Climate Change

By Brett Scott   03/24/21  
The Proposal of $2.9 Million Would Provide Grants to Roughly 15 Communities in Central, Northeastern Minnesota

Fight against climate change could include goal to reduce driving in Minnesota

By Jennifer Bjorhus  Photo by Jeff Wheeler   03/23/21  
Minnesotans may be urged to put down the car keys in a new effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and fight climate change.

Minnesota may add climate impacts to environmental review

By Kirsti Marohn  Photo by Derek Montgomery   03/22/21  
Large projects in Minnesota — from new highways to industrial plants to big housing developments — are required to go through an environmental review that examines the project’s potential risks to the land, air, water…
CNN

As spring thaws the Minnesota ice, a new pipeline battle fires up

By Bill Weir   03/20/21  
In the north woods of Minnesota, the mighty Mississippi River looks like a frozen creek. After a bitter February, you can stroll across it with more fear of windburn than thin ice. And if you…

Why Line 3? Why now?

By Emily Atkin   03/15/21  
Tania Aubid has not eaten solid food for 26 days, but she still has energy to yell at the cops. “No jurisdiction!!” she bellowed at two passing sheriff vehicles on Thursday from a blue beach…

Xcel, environmentalists square off over planned gas-fired power plant

By Mike Hughlett  Photo by Jason Wachter   03/06/21  
The rise of natural gas-fired power was long welcomed — or at least accepted — by both utilities and clean-energy groups. Gas vanquished coal, cutting both carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity costs.

How Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency approaches its environmental equity push

By Minn Post  Photo by MPCA   03/04/21  
This story originally appeared in MinnPost and was republished with permission. MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization whose mission is to provide high-quality journalism for people who care about Minnesota.

Hennepin County releases comprehensive climate action plan

By David Chanen   02/27/21  
Hennepin County is on the verge of playing a larger role in curbing global climate change, rolling out hundreds of new strategies aimed at driving down greenhouse gas emissions across the county.

Climate change led to Brandon wastewater spill, Minnesota pollution official says

Photo by Karen Tolkkinen   02/26/21  
Extreme weather is overwhelming Minnesota’s aging water treatment systems, state officials say, resulting in partially treated wastewater spills in northwestern Minnesota, including a spill in Brandon.

Minnesota Power to pursue 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, nix coal by 2035

By Catherine Morehouse   01/14/21  
Minnesota Power is aiming to generate 100% of its electricity from carbon-free resources by 2050, the company announced Tuesday.

Indigenous-led resistance to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline threatens Big Oil’s last stand

By Nick Engelfried   01/13/21  
This article was originally published on Waging Nonviolence. Please note that the date of the article was December 14, 2020, so dates referred to reflect that timing.