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Monday, July 15, 2024

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NBC News reports the Rooftop where the gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses Classified Documents Case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

MN lawmakers give clean energy permitting a makeover

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

In the future, clean energy projects in Minnesota might come together more quickly, since state lawmakers have advanced a permitting reform measure.

The policy effort gained steam throughout the legislative session, with final negotiations playing out late last week.

Researchers say Minnesota's current permitting process for solar projects used to take an average of 300 days - now it's nearly 550.

There's also pressure to get additional transmission lines up and running so there's more space on the power grid for renewables.

Clean Grid Alliance Regional Policy Director Peder Mewis said he feels the new provisions will be a big help.

"Basically what the bill does is, it completely rewrites the siting and permitting statutes in Minnesota and combines them all into one," said Mewis, "so it's a lot easier to track things."

Mewis described the state's current process as strong, but cumbersome.

For skeptics worried about removing opportunities for the public to scrutinize these projects, supporters insist that won't be an issue.

The bipartisan bill arose from a recent task force report that included input from utilities, developers, environmental groups and property rights advocates.

Just like some other Midwestern states, Minnesota has adopted ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.

Mewis said there's increasing awareness that regulatory hurdles need to be dealt with as climate plans are mapped out.

"If you look at what we did in Michigan last year, where we enacted a carbon-free standard," said Mewis, "and with that, we did siting and permitting reform because the state recognized that's a key component."

Last year, Minnesota established a standard of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

As for the permitting reform plan, Gov. Tim Walz expressed support for the idea going into the session. He's expected to sign the bill sent to his desk.




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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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