Letter to John Marty, Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee of the Minnesota Senate (and one of MN’s most respected legislators)

March 22, 2013

Dear Sen. Marty:

Thanks for chatting with me last night (Thursday) after what must have been a long and tiring meeting.

I’ve been around energy policy debates long enough to have a sense of how hard it is to make substantial changes really happen.  You’ve taken on a big project, one we all have a stake in, and I would very much like to see it succeed with solid, change-making legislation. Continue Reading →

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ACTION ALERT: A pair of dirty-air bills: HF1300/SF1092 (Magnetation)

Update:  The Senate bill was stopped in a committee but later the language was sneaked into an “omnibus” bill and because law.  No legislator or lobbyist or advocate warned us that this was happening.  Is this the best we could expect of Marty, in particular??  Cynicism is not easy to avoid….



Here are two bills intended to roll back some air quality regulations.

My sources say these bills are intended to greases the skids for the mining company Magentation.   http://www.magnetation.com/ .  But the changes are not artfully written, as bills often are, to focus on one facility.  Rather, the damage would apparently be statewide.  The essence seems to be an effort to remove “fugitive emissions” from permit limits.  Continue Reading →

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Red Wing mayor Dennis Egan finally signs a letter of resignation–sort of.

Here’s the letter.  Note he hasn’t actually resigned.  He’s saying he will resign on April Fools Day.

Egan stalled for a while after saying he’d resign.   Some people are concerned he might have a change of heart before April.

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Just how low can an ENGO go?

Demand that “Conservation Minnesota” sever ties with incineration giant Covanta

It’s no secret that many mainstream ENGOs (“Environmental Non Governmental Organizations,” more simply “Environmental Groups”) have slipped more and more into the pockets of the polluters they are supposed to be opposing.  As they’ve made their transitions from member-support to grant-support, they’ve lost control of their own agendas, and, in many cases, have lost their souls.  So now, hearing from one, we don’t know whether it’s really Pew talking, or the Energy Foundation, or Monsanto, or Chesapeake Energy, or Covanta, or Waste Management, or whatever….

But personally, I’m not seen anything as nauseating at the “partnership” between “Conservation Minnesota” (closely tied to the League of Conservation Voters) and giant garbage burner operator Covanta. Continue Reading →

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“Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Mayor Egan’s go to go!”

In Red Wing, Minnesota, a small city threatened by big-time frac sand mining, Mayor Dennis Egan says he’s going to work for the frac sand mining industry, as Executive Director of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, but also intends to remain as mayor.

The Red Wing City Council meets Monday, Feb. 11, 2012, at 7:00.   Under Red Wing’s Charter, the Council has the power to remove the mayor.

Please add YOUR voice to those calling upon the Red Wing City Council to remove Mayor Dennis Egan.  Emails for City Council members are right below:

sebion3@gmail.com, lisa.bayley@ci.red-wing.mn.us, deanhove@charter.net, michael.v.schultz@charter.net, peggy.rehder@ci.red-wing.mn.us, ralph.rauterkus@ci.red-wing.mn.us, marilyn.meinke@ci.red-wing.mn.us

For background, including links to stories in the mainstream media, see Carol Overland’s blog, legalectric.org.

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Where does Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan really live?

His facebook page says he lives in St. Paul.  At least at the moment.

Screen shot taken this afternoon.

We called Mayor Egan to ask him.  So far, haven’t heard back from him.

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The MPCA’s official “Metro Solid Waste Plan:” Burn, baby, burn!

These are comments submitted on the MPCA’s “Metro Solid Waste Plan”  in November, 2010.  The PCA didn’t pay much attention.  Read for yourself.

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Comments on the “Minnesota Environment and Energy Report Card”

The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) solicited comments on its Report Card, developed per Gov. Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32. I sent some in, which are below, and would encourage people to send something in.  The so-called “Environmental Congress” is happening on march 15th in Bloomington (public apparently not invited). Continue Reading →

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Bogus “Community Forum” on frac sand mining in Red Wing, Minnesota

Letter to the Editor
Red Wing Republican Eagle

On Nov. 15th “Red Wing 2020,” an advisory committee to Mayor Egan, is holding a “Community Forum” on Frac Sand mining (http://bit.ly/SAiT6O).

All of the presenters are state officials: no community representatives are on the panel.  It seem obvious that a “community forum” should include community representatives.

The oil and gas people have huge resources they are bringing to bear to try to impose their will on our city and county.  A basic question is whether an adequate regulatory framework is in place to ensure that frac sand mining, should it occur locally, would not harm community health, quality of life, or our economy.  Residents, many involved with Save-The-Bluffs (https://sites.google.com/site/savethebluffs/), have studied this concern and concluded that the answer is “no.”  These insights should be included in the “community” program.

On the other hand, state officials, no matter how technically competent–I know and respect many of the scheduled presenters–are probably not in a position to be candid and objective about the adequacy of state regulatory programs.

I hope Mayor Egan and his advisors will rethink their approach to this forum and add several community representatives to the panel.

Elected officials should treat their constituents as citizens to be empowered, not children to be instructed.

Alan Muller
1110 West Avenue
Red Wing

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Personal letter objecting to wolf hunting and trapping

October 23, 2012


Mr. Tom Landwehr, Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Dear Commissioner Landwehr:

I was outraged when the Minnesota DNR announced a hunting season on sandhill cranes. I am now equally outraged at the current wolf hunt. One wonders if the DNR is planning to make a habit of declaring “open season” on delisted, Federally-endangered species. Continue Reading →

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