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Community Solutions Podcast

Jun 7, 2021 The MN Green Step Cities program, administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (check out Episode 18 for the basics on the program) is continuing to seduce MN cities of all sizes to join its ranks. It's touted as a free and voluntary program, but is really just the local cap and trade club. Each step is reached with a number of actions that allegedly cut emissions and reduce energy usage. Once you reach Level 4 and Level 5, it ceases to be voluntary, as you have to benchmark the emissions, energy, and water usage from not just your public buildings, but also from certain private, commercial buildings as well. (It never really was free when you start to look at the cost of each step and the employee hours spent in implementation.)

There are large cities like Bloomington with many tens of thousands of people and small cities like Hewett with 256 people. Are cities like Hewett and Hackensack really not environmentally-minded already? There are about 20 cities that have attained to step 5, which means the tracking, tracing, and benchmarking of energy and water usage. The EPA uses the Energy Star program to manage the benchmarking of public and private buildings. These buildings are forced to report their benchmarking data, which will be displayed on a county-wide map. This is private data, and is incredibly troublesome. Then they attach grants, so that the "free money" might act as a carrot. Your city needs to get out of this program. If you value privacy, you can't leave your city open to this.

We also talk about the recent report that COVID-19 may have started with a Wuhan lab leak. Why, when China is flexing their muscles, is the most powerful country in the world shrugging their shoulders and saying "meh"? Also, Minneapolis and St. Paul are finally lifting their mask mandate. It's about dang time.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!