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2 MN Counties Send $80 Million for Wind to other Countries and States

In "Energy Self Reliant States," David Morris and John Farrell write that the benefits of our energy resources can be of much greater benefits to states if they are locally owned.
. . . states have been the driving force behind renewable energy developments, largely because they correctly view these as economic development initiatives. In the next 20 years, the United States may invest up to $1 trillion in new renewable energy projects. All states can and should benefit from this investment. There’s a lot at stake, as characterized by Minnesota community wind developer Dan Juhl:

I live out on the Buffalo Ridge...I look out my window and I see hundreds of wind turbines. When I look at those turbines I'm happy and I'm sad... Most of those turbines are owned by our friends, the foreign multinationals. Out of two counties in Minnesota we export about 80 million dollars a year to France, Florida, Italy, Portugal, Spain. All of our energy future is going out the door when we could be turning that into something real for us.

As the data in "Energy Self Reliant States" suggests, states would do well to look inward for their energy security. This strategy can yield profound economic and social benefits. Expanding wind power to 20% of generation in several Plains states will create nearly 158,000 jobs, with 20,000 jobs beyond the construction phase of the wind farms. Local economic benefits will total over $1.6 billion a year during the wind farms operations (“Renewable Energy and Economic Potential in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota,” Center for Rural Affairs, August 2009). And widely dispersed energy production can be the basis for a resilient energy system.

Through encouraging Minnesotans to invest in wind turbines by allowing them tax breaks equivalent to those given to large corporations that own wind turbines, more of the revenues from the electricity produced would remain in Minnesota and contribute to Minnesota's local economies.

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In June 2012, Think Again MN launched a history series that examines politics and policy-making in Minnesota during the last century from the immediate post World War II years up through the 1990s. That era witnessed fierce legislative battles at the State Capitol but it was also a time of shared values that cut across partisan lines. 

Read about it here

MN's Leading Election System

MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

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Oregon's Automatic Voter Registration

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

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