Environmental advocates will lose an ally in Congress when Barbara Boxer leaves the Senate at the end of her term in 2016 after more than three decades in office.
House Democrats are upset that the Republican majority removed a veteran DFL lawmaker from a committee that handles environmental issues. Minneapolis Democrat Rep. Jean Wagenius chaired the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance committee until the GOP won back the chamber in November. First elected in 1986, Wagenius is among the longest-serving DFL legislators.
One of the top environmental issues in the legislative session that opens in January could be how best to protect Minnesota’s wetlands. The GOP takeover of the Minnesota House has changed the landscape for the environment and natural resources at the Capitol. Republican leaders have given a strong signal of their priorities by restructuring the committees that will deal with those issues.
On Tuesday, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags like the ones used in Target and grocery stores across the country. The plastic bags will be phased out over the next two years, but people can still use them for vegetables and meats. Paper bags will cost 10 cents while reusable bags will be free to use.
Andy Pearson is with the group, Minnesota 350. It’s a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the environment and ending global warming. Pearson says the march on Sunday will be huge.
The mayor of Minneapolis and the chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux signed an agreement Tuesday that promotes the use of biochar. Jim Doten, Minneapolis’ environmental services’ supervisor, says it’s a product similar to cooking charcoal that’s used for gardening.
Aug. 1 brings a gaggle of new laws for Minnesota, ranging from the little-discussed (such as establishing Cesar Chavez Day in Minnesota every March 31) to the hard-fought (raising the state’s minimum wage).
A new scientific report released by the White House puts the blame for extreme weather on climate change. The forecast in the report is for even more extremes.
Wildlife and environmental groups are claiming victory for conservation practices in the new farm bill, where two of their top priorities made it into law. Farmers will be required to use good conservation practices on highly erodible lands and protect wetlands to qualify for crop insurance subsidies. And the law requires “sodsaver” protections to discourage farmers from plowing up native grasslands in several Plains and Midwest states.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to reverse its approval for a variance that lets the Mesabi Nugget iron processing plant near Hoyt Lakes violate Minnesota water quality standards but said Tuesday that the state and company will get the chance to reapply.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says Great Lakes water levels rebounded sharply last year after a prolonged low period dating from the late 1990s. A report issued Tuesday says Lake Superior rose early two feet, almost twice as much ground as it usually gains during its seasonal rise
About 1,500 people turned out Thursday night to weigh in on what Minnesota’s first copper mine could mean for their water and air. The DNR has spent the last five years studying what PolyMet’s proposal could mean for the environment on the Iron Range. A crowd packed the convention center in Duluth. The building, which is usually home to concerts and hockey games, turned into the place Barb Crow came to join a polarizing debate.
The possibility of more precious metal mining proposals in northern Minnesota took another step forward on Friday after the state’s executive council approved 31 leases of state and private lands to three mining companies seeking exploration.
Experts say climate change threats Minnesota’s fisheries, including North Shore trout streams and walleye lakes such as Mille Lacs. They spoke as the National Wildlife Federation released a national study on freshwater fish in a warming world.
Scientists say Lake Michigan’s Green Bay is developing “dead zones” similar to sections of Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico, where there’s so little oxygen that few if any organisms can survive.