OPINION | A pipe driven through the heart of Minnesota

MN 350, the Sierra Club, Honor the Earth and others are fighting Enbridge Energy of Canada before the Public Utilities Commission on April 3. Enbridge seeks to increase its enormous oil transport system using its existing Alberta Clipper Pipeline through Minnesota, increasing the barrels per day of tar sands crude oil from 450,000 to 800,000 piped from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wis. Many Minnesotans do not even know that this pipeline exists.

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Activists demand end to Minnesota wolf hunt

Hundreds of opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunting season gathered at the State Capitol Thursday (Feb. 27) to lobby — and howl! — for a makeover in the state’s recent approach to management of the totemic animal that, for many, symbolizes wilderness in the state’s North Country. The day-long “Wolf Day” was organized by Howling For Wolves, a citizens’ group that supports passage of a law that would place a new moratorium on wolf hunting in Minnesota.

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Prospect Park plans local solar garden

Prospect Park residents are trying to make the neighborhood’s first community solar garden.

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Oil freight derailments spur look at rail, pipeline safety

Jonathan Wolfgram, chief engineer for the Office of Pipeline Safety, and Public Safety Commissioner Mona Doman discuss oil freight and pipeline safety at an informational hearing of the House Transportation Finance Committee Feb. 27. (Photo by Paul Battaglia)

Minnesota’s first responders are underequipped and unprepared to confront a fiery oil freight derailment like the one that rocked a North Dakota town late last year, a House transportation committee heard Thursday.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Real energy options for Minneapolis vs "Minneapolis Energy Options"

(Note: this is the second time I've posted this as it disappeared the first time.)  

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Saving our lake country

(Photos courtesy of Craig Blacklock, ©Craig Blacklock)

Over a century ago, on February 13, 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a proclamation creating the Superior National Forest.

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"Global cooling" raised during propane crisis debate in Minnesota legislature

Poor people in Minnesota may run out of money to pay for heat in a winter that has seen skyrocketing propane costs and a record number of plunging subzero days. So the first act of the Minnesota legislature as it reconvened this year was to add 20 million dollars to the emergency low income assistance heat fund that could run out soon.

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Minneapolis explores new energy options

City Council members are considering modifications to the city’s current contracts with two large utility companies in an effort to achieve cleaner and more sustainable energy in Minneapolis — changes some University of Minnesota students and community members have deemed necessary.

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How does one emotionally cope with knowing about climate change?

We treat climate change like a logical problem, but it is an emotional problem of acceptance. Ignore the climate deniers for a moment. It an emotional acceptance problem for all of us who know and understand about climate change.

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Can't see the forest for the trees? Accounting for the urban forest

One day in 2011, I came home from work to discover a neon orange ring around the giant elm tree in my front boulevard. I had seen the ring on other trees on the block and watched them be taken down the previous year so I knew that it was only a matter of time. Dutch elm disease is a fungus that is spread by the elm bark beetle and leads to branch die off and the eventual death of the root system. There are treatments for Dutch Elm Disease, but they are expensive and generally don’t work in the long term. The preferred treatment is prompt eradication of the infected specimens. The following spring, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board cut it down and ground out the stump. In its place, they planted a Hackberry, a weedy and tough urban survivor not known for its looks.

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