Campaigning as “America First” in 2022 — do people understand what this means? I hope it’s “just” voter ignorance, but it’s how Altendorf proudly, intentionally, labeled herself. That alone should be reason to eject them from office. Check out the high mileage look of these two:

Both are 2020 election deniers, and together they are sponsoring their (ALEC) Education Freedom Act, identical to one passed on Arizona. Thankfully it won’t go far in Minnesota’s DFL controlled legislature.

What Drazkowski had to say about Altendorf in his endorsement of her for state House 20A:

“LEADING” conservatives with Recall City Hall effort, squawking at school board meetings about “critical race theory” and mask mandates.

And bragging about being an “America First” candidate… good grief… And she was elected.

Back to America First, there’s this, Conservative U.S. House Republicans to form ‘America First’ caucus and the platform:

And a look at what “America First” means:

From 2019, ‘America First’ is only making the world worse. Here’s a better approach. that then before the 2020 election noted the increase of nationalists, demagogues and autocratic powers:

Yet that president is going to face an increasingly dangerous world that looks more like the 1930s than the end of history—with populists, nationalists and demagogues on the rise; autocratic powers growing in strength and increasingly aggressive; Europe mired in division and self-doubt; and democracy under siege and vulnerable to foreign manipulation. Then there are the new challenges of our own century—from cyberwarfare to mass migration to a warming planet—that no one nation can meet alone and no wall can contain.

Doubling down on “America First,” with its mix of nationalism, unilateralism and xenophobia, would only exacerbate these problems. But so would embracing the alternative offered by thinkers across the ideological spectrum who, concerned that our reach exceeds our means, advise us to pull back without considering the likely consequences, as we did in the 1930s.

Yes, time to trot out my “RENOUNCE NATIONALISM sign again.

Oh we got trouble… right here in Goodhue County… And that starts with G and that rhymes with P and that stands for… or is it G and that rhymes with D… it’s BOTH!

p.s. If you want to learn more about “America First” in Minnesota get up to Little Falls, and do some reading in the library at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum.

It was 20 years ago today…

October 22nd, 2022

EXCELSIOR ENERGY’S MESABA PROJECT

PARTIAL DOCUMENT REPOSITORY

Well, a bit more than 20 years ago… January 15, 2002, just after the start of the legislative session, I was at an energy committee meeting, Senate? House? I think Senate was first, then heard again at House, and the following year they got their legislation through as a part of the 2003 Prairie Island bill.

Anyway, there was a presentation back in 2002 about the greatest thing since sliced bread (NOT!), a coal gasification project proposed for “somewhere” on the Range. Here’s what they presented:

Note the parts about “brownfield” and “existing infrastructure.” LIES, it’s that simple. Here’s what their site looked like, this was at the DOE and locals site visit in 2005:

Marching through the woods, a tour of the brownfield site with infrastructure
Another site tour, Itasca County officials on site!
And another time, in November, 2006, the project developer was trespassing on land owned by one of our members during hunting season. There was no access to the proposed project site!

Starting in 2005, I was representing “mncoalgasplant,” landowners and residents near the proposed project, joined in tandem by Citizens Against the Mesaba Project (CAMP) (site circa 2013 with live links, thanks waybackmachine!). We had such active folks, every hearing was PACKED, and eventually the project faded, never formally declared dead, but piece by piece, it went away.

HOWEVER, Excelsior Energy did manage to get an save passed by the legislature for a natural gas plant:

Week before last, I picked up files from a cohort who shall remain unnamed, and am scanning in boxes of files, to post here, and recycle hard copies for biomass (UGH, but that’s what Red Wing does. Thanks, Xcel Energy!). I’ll be posting them, some interesting stuff if you’re into energy and political and capital intrigue, some purely inside baseball that no one will care about.

MONEY TRACKING – Spreadsheets and invoices to IRRB for reimbursement

Various Contractor Invoices (some redacted)

What a pain in the patoot that was — TWO ENTIRE WASTEBASKET OF SCANNING!

It’s a mess – the BNSF derailment at Bonners Ferry, Idaho on Friday means that not just BNSF isn’t moving, but Amtrak can’t get through either. But maybe Amtrak will be getting through soon.

Amtrak is twitting about it:

Empire Builder Train 8/28 which departed from Seattle (SEA)/Portland (PDX) on 1/3 is currently stopped at (WTN) due to earlier vehicle on the tracks and track work. We will update when more information is available.

Empire Builder Train 7/27 which departed Chicago (CHI) on 1/2 is currently operating approximately 11 hours 40 minutes late due to holding for the bus bridge into Spokane (SPK).

From the local press:

BNSF line is back open (published 4p 1/4/2020)

Derailment appears to have been caused by rock slide

County issues Kootenai River water quality advisory

County update on derailment cleanup

DEEP BREATHE EVERYONE. This project hasn’t got a chance in hell!

Received a response from the DNR, and bottom line on the Empire Builder Investments/Progressive Rail project to draw water in Dakota County is:

Kinda says it all, don’t cha think?!?!

Here are the primary documents sent by the DNR, the quote above is from the Preliminary Assessment:

And the DNR Commissioner’s statement:

The DOT says it wants to hear from us, so let’s not disappoint:

Take this short 10 minute survey

There have been a number of issues I’ve worked on that the DOT’s been involved in, particularly transmission and silica sand transport, and a noteworthy project here that thankfully did not go forward was Zip Rail.  These days, we’ve also got the Hwy. 63 bridge over the Mississippi River, and construction has started. The night view of what they’re building:

They’re also working on a 2nd passenger rail train to and from Chicago, which would directly serve Red Wing!  YES!

Let the DOT know what’s important to you, those little things like BRIDGE REPAIR, and maintenance.  Road work must be done, and now we’ve got the budget to get to the many things that were neglected during the Pawlenty era.  Expect delays, that’s the price we have to pay!