Last Thursday, the state public utilities commission (PUC), at the request of the MPCA and the DNR, ordered Enbridge to study the environmental impacts of several potential pipeline routes for the proposed Sandpiper project. What's important about the 3-2 ruling is that it is the first time the PUC has ordered a pipeline company to study alternatives other than the ones the company has identified. Estimates are this could delay the project a year, but the odds today of rerouting a pipeline away from more fragile areas of Minnesota's landscape are better than they have ever been.
At the same time, the Audubon Society reports that half the birds in Minnesota are threatened by climate change, including the common loon, our state bird.
GUEST BLOG: by Jim Erkel, Land Use and Transportation Director
As part the opening ceremonies for the Green Line, a video was produced about the Stops for Us campaign which worked to add transit stations for transit-dependent neighborhoods at Western, Victoria, and Hamline Avenues. It was previewed yesterday at the meeting of the Partnership for Regional Opportunity. You can check it out at here. You will see a talking head from MCEA now and again and MCEA's logo at the end. Much more importantly, though, you will see some of the maps MCEA produced that helped FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff make the case for changing the FTA's cost effectiveness index from a pass-fail test to one of several social and economic considerations taken into account in planning and constructing the Green Line. As some of the people interviewed point out, the FTA's change of the CEI wasn't only a win for communities adjacent to University Avenue, it helped and will continue to help similarly situated communities across the nation.
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
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