Trump order unlikely to change Minnesota’s move toward clean energy

MinnPost file photo by Joe Kimball
Dodge Center wind turbines

Before all those West Virginia coal miners get back to work, Elizabeth Dunbar at MPR reports, “Minnesota is set to meet its carbon emissions targets under the Clean Power Plan even if the rule goes away under executive action signed Tuesday by President Trump, state officials said. The federal regulations curbing carbon emissions from existing power plants directed Minnesota to reduce those emissions by about 40 percent by 2030. Utilities are on pace to do that, thanks to changing energy economics, said David Thornton, an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. … The utilities, which make plans about how to best generate power decades into the future, are choosing less coal.” Sad!

NEA cuts probably won’t help. MPR’s Catharine Richert says, “The Rochester Art Center is in dire financial straits. Contributions, corporate sponsorships and memberships are declining and the center’s cash balance has fallen significantly, creating “substantial doubt” about the operation’s ability to continue, according to a recently completed audit of the center’s 2014-15 finances, the most recent audit available. The center is an important piece of the city’s Destination Medical Center economic development project, which aims to raise Rochester’s national and international profile by boosting its downtown.”

We certainly hope this doesn’t affect executive stock options. Reuters reports, “Wells Fargo & Co said it agreed to pay $110 million to settle a lawsuit by customers challenging its opening of accounts without their permission, a practice that led to a scandal that cost the bank’s chief executive his job. The bank said on Tuesday it expects the settlement to resolve claims in 11 other pending class actions, and will cover claims between Jan. 1, 2009, through the date the agreement is executed. … After attorneys’ fees and costs of administration, claimants will be reimbursed for any wrong fees, Wells Fargo said on Tuesday.” Ought to be enough left to buy lunch at Applebee’s.

We did our part. Says ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, “The NFL’s two-decade blitz of stadium development largely ended this week with the granddaddy of them all: a nearly $1 billion gift from the tax coffers of Nevada to lure the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.With the Raiders’ future settled, there are no more NFL stadium flashpoints on the near horizon and — more importantly — no obvious cities to be used as leverage against municipalities that refuse to provide public assistance. … a word of caution is necessary as we attempt to put a bracket on this portion of NFL history. While you and I might have a hard time composing a list of stadium-needy teams, we should know that the hunger is insatiable.” The “People’s Stadium” should be passe by about 2035, or thereabouts.

And he … ran away? The AP reports, “St. Paul police are looking for a driver who crashed an SUV into the Minnesota Department of Administration building in St. Paul. The crash happened about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday just south of the state Capitol. St. Paul Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernster says the driver apparently was trying to make a U-turn and hit the gas instead of the brakes, driving into the side of the building.”

On the 2016 financials for state farmers and ranchers, Mark Steil at MPR says, “Minnesota farm income rose by about a third last year but many producers are still struggling with low grain and livestock prices. An analysis of more than 2,000 farms by Minnesota State and University of Minnesota researchers shows a median net income of $35,636 per operation in 2016 compared to $27,478 in 2015. Most of the improvement came in crop production.” If the farming thing doesn’t work out, I hear coal is coming back.

Seems he felt the heat. Stribber Anthony Lonetree reports, “Orlando Ramos, one of three finalists for St. Paul schools’ superintendent, withdrew Tuesday after it was revealed that he’d failed to disclose that he sought bankruptcy protection about eight years ago. The exit came a few hours after the Star Tribune reported about the bankruptcy filing in a story on its website.”

Manna for talk radio. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “Long suspicious that a Fridley mother of eight was cheating the state out of various welfare benefits, authorities have charged her Tuesday receiving more than $118,000 in government aid over roughly a 1½-year period. Authorities say that as she collected benefits, Fozia S. Dualeh falsely claimed that the children’s father, who was gainfully employed, was not financially supporting or living with the family. Dualeh, 39, was charged by summons in Anoka County District Court with felony theft ahead of an April 12 initial court appearance.”

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