Help for Spiking Propane Costs

home heating In response to the alarming spike in propane costs throughout Minnesota, the Department of Commerce recently announced additional financial assistance for eligible Minnesotans currently heating their homes with propane and heating oil. Financial assistance is available through Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), with additional payments available as early as next week. Households with an income […]

Energy Omnibus Bill

solar panels The Omnibus Energy Bill passed the House last Tuesday. If HF956 becomes law, it would set Minnesota’s first solar energy generation requirement for the state’s utilities at 4 percent by 2025. Renewable energy production for the state would need to be 40 percent by 2030. The bill as it’s written now, would allow for private citizens […]

Committee Vote on Buy the Farm amendments expected March 20

capX My Bill, HF 338, amends Minnesota’s Buy the Farm law to capture the original intent of the law and further protect farmers when utilities acquire land to build high voltage transmission lines. According to an article in the Pioneer Press, the need for the changes arose out of complaints from farmers who claim that energy […]

Economy Talk with Dr. Richard A. Levins

My guest for this coming Wednesday’s installment of Economy Talk is Dr. Richard A. Levins, author, lecturer and Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Levins has been doing a lot of thinking about the middle class and he is working with me on a re-write of my book, The Middle […]

The Opportunity Society

      I believe in a society where we all have the opportunity to reach our full potential.  We may not all reach it but we should strive to create a society where such a thing is possible.  This means excepting the reality that a democracy, that economic fairness and potential don’t happen by […]

Governor signs eminent domain law to protect landowners

ST. PAUL – Governor Pawlenty has signed legislation I authored to increase fairness for Minnesota landowners involved in an eminent domain process with utility companies. The law repeals the special exemptions for eminent domain given to utility companies involving high-voltage transmission lines and natural gas and petroleum pipelines. This new law is a victory for […]

Action on Eminent Domain Exemptions for Public Service Corps

My bill, HF. 1182 to remove exemptions for eminent domain proceedings for High Voltage Powerlines and Pipelines, passed on the MN House floor with a vote of 123 to 5 yesterday. This measure will protect property owners, making sure they are dealt with fairly in the taking of land through eminent domain.  A summary of […]

MN Renewable Energy Society Event

On Friday I attended the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society 30th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Paul.  The event Master of Ceremonies was Don Shelby from WCCO 4 News, music was provided by acoustic folk and jazzy reggae artist Michael Monroe and the food was locally grown.  The keynote speaker was Paul […]

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Last Thursday at the November 12th Board Meeting of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, I spoke on the subject of Feed In Tariff legislation. The idea of FIT/REP is to incentivize renewable energy investments by setting a fixed price over a specified contract period (e.g, 20 years) for selling energy back to the grid. A […]
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