The city of Mankato has recently been recognized by the GreenStep Cities program as a Step Two GreenStep City.
To achieve this, the city implemented best practices that help achieve sustainability goals and cost savings that reduce energy use by providing high quality water, being committed to historical preservation efforts, and achieving LEED certified buildings in the city.
Vote Solar worked with Fresh Energy to ensure the bill included a shared solar component, an important way of broadening access to solar by allowing customers to invest in a solar project and get a credit on their utility bill, even if that project is not on their own roof. By September 30, 2013, Xcel must file a plan for this “community solar gardens” program, and other utilities can do so voluntarily. The shared projects can be utility-owned or developed by a third party, must be 1 megawatt or less in size, and may have participants from the same county or any contiguous county as long as they are in the same utility territory as the shared solar facility.Participants receive a bill credit for their portion of the energy produced by the shared facility, at the value of solar rate described below, or at retail rate if the value of solar has not yet been calculated. Other IOUs, such as Ottertail Power or Minnesota Power, may opt to file a community solar gardens program.
Frogs, toads and salamanders continue to vanish from the American landscape at an alarming pace, with seven species — including Colorado’s boreal toad and Nevada’s yellow-legged frog — facing 50 percent drops in their numbers within seven years if the current rate of decline continues, according to new government research. …
[S]cientists believe several factors, including disease, an explosion of invasive species, climate change and pesticide use are contributing. …
A study of Minnesota’s northern leopard frog fingered farm chemicals as a contributor to its decline, according to the journal Nature . After studying more than 200 factors that led to infection, two stood out, a synopsis of the report said, an herbicide called atrazine and phosphate, a fertilizer.
Find answers to your [Minnesota gardening] questions several ways – whatever suits you!
Not accepting new products that are likely to contain GMOs is a way we can take action now, even as we lobby for labeling requirements,” explains Liz McMann, Mississippi Market’s consumer affairs manager. Going forward, the co-op will no longer accept any new products with ingredients that are likely to be genetically modified. Ingredients such as corn, soy, canola, sugar beet, cottonseed, papaya and summer squash must be certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, or able to provide other verification of non-GMO sourcing.
First state to ban formaldehyde in body products
Parents first learned about formaldehyde in children’s bubble bath when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released their No More Toxic Tub report in 2009. This shocking report found cancer-causing formaldehyde in many popular children’s shampoos, bubble bath and other body products. Four years later, Minnesota is now the first state in the nation to ban formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from children’s body products. Minnesota parents will soon no longer have to be concerned about chemicals such as Quanternium-15 or DMD hydantoin releasing toxic formaldehyde into their child’s bath.
BPA-free food packaging now law
Parents will also be able to worry less about bisphenol-A (BPA) in their children’s formula or food. Minnesota joined Connecticut and Vermont in banning hormone-disrupting BPA from food packaging for young children. Next year, BPA will no longer be allowed in baby food, infant formula and toddler food containers for children under age three.
Come June, as many as 250 vehicles could be available to Minneapolis residents who need a car on occasion but have no desire to own a vehicle.
Bloomberg BNA — Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and San Diego are among the cities most likely to face water scarcity as climate change increases drought potential, a study released May 15 found.
The article also says:
Along with the potentially 40 million Americans affected in these cities, several “breadbasket region” states such as Nebraska, Illinois, and Minnesota also made the list of vulnerable areas.
Question: Considering that essential water supplies for so many Americans are at high risk from climate change, why are some corporations (like fracking corporations) being allowed to engage in practices that may pollute and/or waste a significant portion of the limited healthy water that Americans have left?
Did you know that there is a March Against Monsanto that will be taking place in the Twin Cities? There are actually Marches Against Monsanto taking place in locations around the world on May 25th.
LETTER: Let's get honest about frac sand mining in Houston County - Spring Grove Herald - Bluff Country News - Minnesota
Bryan Van Gorp Rushford:
Would-be miners are fond of the land rights argument - “It is my land so I can do whatever I want with it.”
That of course, ignores the land rights of their neighbors who should have a right to enjoy their property and be able to maintain their property value.
That right ends when it harms another person.
Do you think this argument is reminiscent of John Stuart Mills’ in On Liberty (1859)?
The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection.
By setting this goal, to be phased in over the next 12 years, Minnesota will influence the market for renewables – leading to new energy-related jobs in Minnesota, and driving down costs of renewables development. And we’ll reduce our dependence on foreign and out of state energy sources, and cut coal pollution.
Unless you live in rural Minnesota. If you buy electricity from a company that’s democratically owned – a rural electric cooperative, or a municipally elected government – then you’re not part of any goal, and your coop can just keep doing business as it has been. The coops fought hard to get coops written out of the legislation, and they “won”, I guess. Even after they’d changed the bill to exclude coops, the Rural Electric Association still urged rural legislators to vote No: coal –fired power plants are the only way Minnesota can or should get its electricity.