Dayton pushes ahead on clean power initiative

Office of the Governor
Gov. Mark Dayton

At MPR, Elizabeth Dunbar reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton is pushing ahead on his clean power efforts despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering federal authorities to delay plans to cut power plant carbon emissions. The Clean Power Plan was expected to be a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy. … The Supreme Court threw the plan into limbo last month when it told the Environmental Protection Agency to wait. While other governors applauded the move, Dayton and his administration are acting as though the ruling never happened. They say it’s important to stay on course to address climate change. ‘Preparing for whatever the future holds, with or without an EPA regulation, is what I think I’m hearing would be in Minnesota’s best interest,’ said Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Linc Stine.”

Prior to last night’s voting, there was this story from David Sherfinski of The Washington Times. “Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday warned Minnesotans about once again electing a ‘tough-talking celebrity’ in the mold of former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who had previously gained notoriety as a professional wrestler. ‘By the way, if any state in the country has experience with electing someone who runs on the promise of being some great celebrity, this tough-talking celebrity, well how did that work out with Jesse Ventura?’ Mr. Rubio said at a campaign rally in the state.” 

Christina Capecchi of The New York Times came to Richfield and found a Muslim for Trump. “When Fadumo Yusuf showed up at a Donald J. Trump rally here wearing a gold hijab, she was practically mobbed by campaign volunteers. A Trump sticker made its way onto her hijab, and she was handed a large Trump sign and directed to the front of the group, so she could be interviewed by a local news station. … What does propel her is the belief that Mr. Trump can be, as he has boasted, ‘the greatest jobs president that God ever created.’ Since earning an accounting degree from a community college in St. Paul in 2010, she said she had applied for more than 20 accounting positions and had not received a single offer. In her view, she has done her part to achieve the American dream, but America hasn’t upheld its end of the bargain.”

So I guess even the NIT is out of the question, huh? The AP’s Dave Campbell says, “Minnesota’s season was lost long ago. The Gophers will finish it even more short-handed than they were before. Coach Richard Pitino announced Tuesday that guards Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer will be suspended for the remainder of the season, stemming from a sexually explicit video that appeared on Dorsey’s social media accounts. … Citing educational data privacy, Pitino declined to speak specifically about the incident. Asked whether the players would return next season, he said he wasn’t prepared to speculate about their future status.”

Hey, if they want to call it quits on winter right now, I’m OK with that. Says Tony Kennedy for the Strib, “While ice-out dates in Minnesota have fluctuated wildly even within the past five years, close observers such as Fylpaa have noticed a long-term trend toward shorter periods of ice covering state lakes. The trend is more pronounced in the fall, with later and later ice-ups, [Lake Bemidji State Park naturalist John] Fylpaa said. But the average time for ice-out on Lake Bemidji has now crept into the second week of April after steadily arriving for many years during the third week of April, he said.” I say it’s spring when I can see the hose I left out last fall.

Fatal distraction. In the River Falls Journal Mike Longaecker reports, “A Hudson woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash Monday in Minnesota. The Minnesota State Patrol identified the victim as 22-year-old Megan E. Goeltz. The driver of the second vehicle, 20-year-old Hudson resident Drew T. Fleming, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with non life-threatening injuries. … Goeltz’s 2010 Ford Fusion was stopped at the intersection when Fleming’s Saab 9-3 Aero approached, crossed both lanes of traffic and entered the southbound ditch, where it vaulted back up and struck Goeltz’s car. According to troopers, preliminary evidence suggests Fleming may have been distracted at the time of the crash.”

Slippery slope! MPR’s Dan Gunderson says, “The state just received a permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for an industrial hemp pilot project. Agriculture officials here say they’ll soon begin looking for farmers and others who want to plant hemp test plots, the first legally planted hemp in the state in more than half a century. The Minnesota Legislature last year ordered the state agriculture department to set up an industrial hemp pilot project. It’s been a challenge because the federal government lists hemp as a controlled substance, an illegal drug.” If we follow precedent, we’ll legislate a weird, cumbersome bureaucracy controlled by a couple favored entities and the hemp will cost 10 times what it does in Iowa.

Yeah, let’s take a long look at this. Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib reports, “The watchdog arm of Congress will try to figure out whether the federal government could have prevented the financial crisis engulfing the Central States Pension Fund. Nearly 300,000 Teamsters could lose a significant chunk of their retirement income under a rescue plan the ­Central States fund wants to pursue. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office will review the U.S. Department of Labor’s oversight of the fund, the office wrote in a Feb. 12 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.”  

MPR wins. Again. For your favorite public radio station Riham Feshir reports, “A settlement between Minnesota Public Radio and the Metropolitan Council gives MPR $3.5 million to deal with vibration and noise interference caused by the Green Line at its downtown St. Paul broadcast studios. Jon McTaggart, CEO of MPR parent company American Public Media Group, announced the settlement Tuesday in an email to staff. The settlement allows the company to ‘address these impacts on its own, including replacing equipment, further sound and vibration mitigation and finding alternate studio locations,’ according to the email.” Next time, send MPR to negotiate with the Iranians.

And country folks think city life has rough edges. Says the Forum News Service, “Six people have been arrested after a search warrant was executed in Cass Lake and turned up heroin, methamphetamine, prescription pills, marijuana and handguns. The bust came a day before there were four separate heroin overdose reports in Beltrami County, Bemidji and on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.”

Hey, I’ve got about 500 I could part with. Stribber John Reinan says, “Rob Sheeley thought he might die, right there in that West Texas basement. Eyes bugged out. Heart pounding. Hyperventilating. They’d find him in a fetal ball at the bottom of the stairs, passed out from sheer excitement. That’s what can happen when dreams come true. ‘It took everything I had to keep it together,’ Sheeley said, describing the January day he walked down those stairs in Big Spring and gazed upon row after row of shelves holding 100,000 virgin discs, the entire vinyl inventory of a record store that closed its doors in 1984. From Abba to Zappa, it was there. Bruce Springsteen. James Brown. The Ramones. Ozzy Osbourne. Prince. All sealed in their original wrappers. Within five minutes, Sheeley bought the whole lot for close to $100,000 … .” 

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 03/02/2016 - 07:46 am.

    We support the Clean Power Plan, too

    The American Lung Association in Minnesota strongly supports the Clean Power Plan, and we encourage Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to continue on the path toward cleaner power and healthier air.

    It is our position that climate change is a clear risk to public health, and we cannot delay action while we wait for the courts to resolve legal challenges.

    From tuberculosis to tobacco, Minnesota has faced public health challenges before, and we have chosen the right path. I’m glad to see Minnesota is doing just that with the Clean Power Plan.

  2. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 03/02/2016 - 03:39 pm.

    Hemp would make a great barrier to use along waterways, expecially if farmers could sell it for use in soaps. clothing, food, etc.

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