MNIPL In the News: 2023
Read this beautiful op-ed testimony about "pollinators," including MNIPL's Bret Pence, who work so passionately for Duluth's sustainability, and a call for more people to become pollinators.
Minnesota is taking important steps toward a clean energy economy but we need tools and financing to get us there. Read Julia Nerbonne's Minnesota Reformer op-ed urging support for a MN Climate Innovation Finance Authority.
Wonderful MPR coverage of our February 15 Rise and Repair Rally, featuring powerful comments by MNIPL's Julia Nerbonne and other partner leaders. Minnesota Public Radio 2/16/23
Minnesota Is Poised to Pass an Ambitious 100 Percent Clean Energy Bill. Now About Those Incinerators…, Inside Climate News, 1/30/23. Article about the 100% clean energy by 2040 legislation. Includes quotes by MNIPL's Julia Nerbonne and Makayla Freeman, who testified before the MN House.
The Manchin permitting side deal would eviscerate IRA climate progress, Minnesota Reformer, 12/8/22. Op-ed written by MNIPL's Julia Nerbonne and Sara Wolff.
Solar coalition wants to put equity front and center in Xcel’s Minnesota rate case, Energy News Network, 12/1/22. Highlights work by the Just Solar Coalition and MNIPL to fight Xcel Energy's 21% rate hike. Includes quotes by Julia Nerbonne and Joshua Lewis.
Green Visions: Earth Harmony Study Group, The North 103.3, 11/30/22. Features the multifaith book group that has been running for the past 5 years in the Duluth area with a focus on discussing to discuss books on the environment from a spiritual perspective; co-lead by Bret Pence, MNIPL, and Pastor David Carlson.
For some Minnesota college students, climate change is top issue on ballot, MPR, 11/4/22. Includes a quote by Ella Stewart, a student from UMD who is interning this year with MNIPL.
Who Will Lead Us?, The Alley Newspaper (a Phillips community newspaper in Minneapolis), 11/1/22. Op-ed written by MNIPL's Joshua Lewis about the "Dirty Side Deal" attached to the Inflation Reduction Act.
Solar Co-op Celebration, Fox21, 9/13/22. There are now 60+ homes that are members of the Duluth/Arrowhead Solar Co-Op; this event also launched the 2023 solar group buy.
Green Zones can fight back against energy rate increases, Camden News, 8/3/22. Article about our door-knocking campaign to raise awareness of Xcel Energy's proposed rate increase.
Local View: Even with climate crisis worsening, hope can be found, Duluth News Tribune, 7/31/22. Op-ed written by our friend, Tone Lanzillo, a member of the Loaves and Fishes Community in Duluth; recommends MNIPL as a group for people to participate with.
Groups Pushing Back Against Minnesota Power's Proposed 18% Rate Hike. Press release, 7/8/22. Jointly issued by MNIPL, Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota, and the Sierra Club with quote from Bret Pence. Cited in news articles by the Duluth News Tribune and The Timerjay.
Ascension Episcopal Church named Certified Climate Justice Congregation, The Gazette, 5/3/22.
Xcel Energy dropped new gas; Minnesota Power should, too. Duluth News Tribune, 4/13/22. Bret Pence, with MNIPL, co-signed this op-ed. Calls on the Public Utilities Commission to require Minnesota Power to source more cost-effective solar and wind power instead of the proposed Nemadji Trail gas plant.
The spiritual response to climate change, MPR News, 3/9/22. Julia Nerbonne, Executive Director, was interviewed by Angela Davis in a story about addressing climate anxiety through spiritual practice.
Duluth Elected Officials and Environmental Leaders Issue Joint Statement Regarding PolyMet Dam, 1/22/22. A call for Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to hold a hearing on PolyMet's dangerous dam proposal. Signed by Bret Pence on behalf of MNIPL.
MNIPL In the News: 2021
Software entrepreneur funds solar projects in Minneapolis, Star Tribune, Dec. 26, 2021. Highlights the solar array installed at Liberty Community Church and other solar investments made in low-income areas of Minneapolis; these projects were supported by MNIPL.
Minnesotans return from climate summit energized despite its shortcomings, MPR, Nov. 15, 2021. Cover image of Ruhel Islam and Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos draped in our MNIPL community's prayer squares. Story includes interview with Julia Nerbonne on why it was important for Minnesotans to be at global talks.
Solar co-op launches in the Twin Cities, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Nov. 11, 2021. Coverage of a new solar program, with added incentives for low-income homeowners. Launched by Solar United Neighbors (SUN) in partnership with MNIPL and others.
Green Visions: "This is a festival of greenwashing" - live from the COP26 summit in Glasgow, KUMD, Nov. 10, 2021. Includes an interview with Julia Nerbonne.
Panel on Enbridge Line 3 pipeline hosted by Minnesotans at UN Climate Change Conference, KARE11, Nov. 9, 2021. Coverage of the panel presentation that includes MNIPL's Julia Nerbonne. Also shared on MinnPost.
Line 3 Sparks Conversations on Faith, Fairness in Climate Fight, Public News Service, Sept. 30, 2021. Interview with Julia Nerbonne, MNIPL's executive director.
Dire U.N. climate report demands that Minnesota and Congress be bold, MinnPost, Sept. 10, 2021. Opinion piece written by MNIPL staffer, Sam Benson, about the need to act this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean electricity.
Grassroots effort grows a bright future, Hometown Focus, Aug. 13, 2021. Highlights the work of the Itasca Clean Energy Team (ICET) to bring a solar garden and battery storage system to Grand Rapids. MNIPL has long supported ICET's efforts with advice, resources, and connections. MNIPL's Bret Pence is quoted in the article.
Inside Health Care, Twin Cities Community Cable program, Aug. 6, 2021. Features two MNIPL community connectors, Joe Ward and Wally Wadd, who talked about climate change and what has and needs to be done in Minnesota to address it.
Share the Sun crowdsourcing underway for solar project, WDIO/ABC Duluth, July 23, 2021. Covering the launch of “Share the Sun,” a crowdsourcing effort to raise funds to install solar on the homes of eight Duluth and Grand Marais low-income families. MNIPL is one of the collaborators, along with our partner Solar United Neighbors (SUN). The news story features a clip of MNIPL's Bret Pence speaking. Add'l coverage from Fox21/Duluth.
Religious Americans Demand Climate Action, Center for American Progress, July 21, 2021. Coverage of a statement signed by 3,400 faith leaders calling for climate-ready infrastructure (organized by Interfaith Power & Light). Highlights MNIPL's leadership in opposing Line 3.
When a pipeline is a threat to earth, water, and sacred species, Sojourners, June 16, 2021. Coverage of the Treaty People Gathering and an interview with Julia Nerbonne, MNIPL's Executive Director, and several clergy in MNIPL's network.
Episcopalians stand in solidarity with Minnesota’s Anishinaabe to stop oil pipeline construction, Episcopal News Service, June 11, 2021. Coverage of MNIPL's work mobilizing 300+ people of faith against Line 3, and includes an interview with Buff Grace, MNIPL's Solar Outreach Manager.
Local View: Declaring a climate emergency not enough; now Duluth needs to make good on its goals, Duluth News Tribune, May 13, 2021. Opinion piece co-signed by Bret Pence, MNIPL's Northern Minnesota Director.
Minnesota Power planning fast-charge EV stations — for residents and tourists, Star Tribune, April 9, 2021. Includes quote from Bret Pence, MNIPL's Greater Minnesota director, who largely affirms the proposal, but questions its size and scope and is glad the public can provide input to improve it.
HEATED comes to Minnesota; meets with Rita Chamblin, an MNIPL liaison, and visits the Line 3 pipeline, March 31, 2021. Note: This article is for paid subscribers, so a PDF is linked. Please support independent climate journalism.
Minnesota Power pledges no carbon by 2050, zero coal by 2035, MINNPost, January 12, 2021. The Duluth utility announces its plans to expand wind and solar generation and eliminate coal; includes perspective from Bret Pence, MNIPL's Northern Minnesota Director.
More arrests made at Enbridge Line 3, Aitkin Age, January 6, 2021. Biased account of MNIPL's and other organization's presence for protest and prayer.
Whether Enbridge’s Line 3 Project is right or wrong is in the eye of the beholder, Aitkin Age, December 24, 2020. Features perspectives from Enbridge, law enforcement, and Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth following the rally on 12/17; includes a quote from Julia Nerbonne, MNIPL's executive director.
Whitney Terrill Joins GreenFaith's International Fellowship Program, Press Release, December 12, 2020. Announcement that an MNIPL staff will join the 2021 Class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program.
Spiritual and Religious Leaders Protest Line 3 Construction in Palisade, Lakeland News, December 17, 2020. Coverage of the protest rally in Palisade, Minn., co-sponsored by MNIPL and Honor the Earth.
The state has ample reason, and authority, to block this harmful pipeline, The Star Tribune, November 10, 2020. Op-ed submitted by Steve Morse of Minnesota Environmental Partnership on behalf of MNIPL and other partners working to #StopLine3.
Enbridge sued even as it begins pre-construction, Aitkin Age, November 4, 2020. Includes a quote from Julia Nerbonne, MNIPL's executive director.
Students organize to raise voter turnout at Mac, The Mac Weekly, October 22, 2020. Highlights the organizing work of Maclester student Elua Sey, who interned at MNIPL.
Local View: Enforcement is key to environmental protections, Duluth News Tribune, October 2, 2020. Opinion article submitted by Line 3 coalition partners and co-signed by MNIPL.
Voting based off your values, KIMT3 News, September 29, 2020. A video featuring Rev. Debra Collum, who hosted a "Voting Your Values" virtual event at Chatfied United Methodist Church in southeast Minnesota.
Property is a not a justifiable means to an end: Letter to the Editor. Bemidji Pioneer, September 26, 2020. Response to MNIPL's Joe Meinholz's letter on 9/19 by a community member who feels it "blatantly misled readers about the facts of law enforcement and Line 3."
Statewide View: Kelley called Enbridge’s bluff on Line 3 — and got fired for it, Duluth News Tribune, September 23, 2020. Opinion article written by Brett Benson of MN350 and co-signed by MNIPL organizer for Greater Minnesota, Bret Pence.
Protecting human rights of pipeline protesters: Letter to the Editor, The Bemidji Pioneer, September 19, 2020. MNIPL staff member, Joe Meinholz, responds to attacks made to the integrity and sources of information provided by MNIPL's Bemidji liaison, Rita Chamblin.
Faith leaders to Minnesota officials: Prepare to protect the rights of Line 3 opponents, MinnPost, September 1, 2020. Opinion piece written by MNIPL executive director, Julia Nerbonne, regarding police violence against pipeline protesters.
Calling for the protection of human rights: Letter to the Editor. Bemidji Pioneer, August 26, 2020. Written by MNIPL's Bemidji liaison, Rita Chamblin.
PolyMet petitions state Supreme Court on blocked permits; groups on both sides rally at Capitol, The Star Tribune, February 11, 2020. "Meanwhile, a diverse group of religious leaders with Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light delivered an open letter to Gov. Tim Walz, state environmental regulators and lawmakers asking them to accept the judgment of the Appeals Court..."
First day of Minnesota legislative session: Guns, insulin and a cooperative tone, Minnesota Public Radio, February 11, 2020. "Minneapolis-based Interfaith Power and Light, a religious-based environmental advocacy group, handed over a petition in the governor's office signed by more than 200 faith leaders saying the mining project represented a grave threat to water quality and the rights of Indian tribes in northern Minnesota."
Column: Be a climate voter, The Gazette, January 20, 2020. Column describes a panel discussion in Stillwater, MN featuring MNIPL staff member Buff Grace.
Churches see the (solar) light, Ionia Sentinel Standard, Jan 3, 2020. MNIPL Executive Director Julia Nerbonne quoted speaking about solar-faith community partnerships.
Powered By Faith, Religious Groups Emerge As A Conduit For A Just Solar Boom, National Public Radio, December 15, 2019.
Local youth join international climate protest, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, September 25, 2019.
Supporting an international effort, Minnesotans say no to climate change, Minnesota Daily, September 20, 2019. The article references MNIPL and the strong faith presence at the Global Climate Strike event in St. Paul.
Minnesota Climate Strikers Rally At Capitol, CBS Minnesota WCCO, September 20, 2019. The story features a twitter post from MNIPL's account from the Climate Strike.
Community Solar Garden construction to begin near Janesville, Mankato Free Press, September 2, 2019.
Minneapolis Foundation Pairs Climate Action and Racial Equity, Nonprofit Quarterly, August 2, 2019.
Minneapolis Foundation's new fund helps three nonprofits address climate change in low-income neighborhoods, Star Tribune, July 29, 2019.
Oil pipeline exposes the reticence of Tim Walz, and the fate of Minnesota's environmental future, City Pages, June 26, 2019.
From Prison to a Career in Solar, Sierra Club Magazine, June 10, 2019. Levi of the Returning Relatives Initiative, co-organized by MNIPL, wrote an essay for Sierra Club magazine about his journey to becoming a solar installer.
Standing Rock Fights On: Tribal Activism Goes Solar, Rolling Stone Magazine, June 4, 2019. MNIPL staff member Bob Blake featured and quoted in Rolling Stone!
Minnesota nonprofits using community solar to help veterans, families in need, Energy News Network, May 14, 2019. The article references a community solar partnership between MNIPL, the Just Solar Coalition, and Partners in Affordable Housing. This Mankato-area solar array provides cooperatively-owned solar energy to families in 17 low income housing units.
Blue Earth Project Podcast feat. Briana Baker, MNIPL, Briana discusses MNIPL programs and the benefits of supporting community solar.
Populism or socialism? The divided heart of the Green New Deal, MinnPost, March 30, 2019.
Minnesota church flipper gives empty religious buildings new life, Star Tribune, March 20, 2019.
Xcel Energy, others push changes to state's community solar program, Minnesota Public Radio, March 1, 2019. MNIPL Executive Director Julia Nerbonne quoted, speaking about the importance of Minnesota's community solar program.
In allowing Line 3 appeal, Walz wades into most contentious issue yet, MPR News, February 13, 2019.
Minnesota governor sides with environmentalists on pipeline, AP News, February 12, 2019. The article references interfaith gathering at the Capitol and gift of wild rice to Governor Tim Walz.
Walz administration to continue legal challenge to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project, MinnPost, February 12, 2019.
For Walz, Line 3 suit presents first big test of ‘One Minnesota’ philosophy, MinnPost, February 11, 2019.
At Critical Juncture, Faith Leaders Call on Gov. Walz to Stop Enbridge Line 3, Healing Minnesota Stories, February 8, 2019.
Faith leaders and lawmakers press Walz about Line 3 pipeline, AP, February 8, 2019. Faith leaders gathered at the Capitol on Friday to urge Gov. Tim Walz to oppose Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement. Republished by US News & World Report, MPR News, CBS Minnesota, Lakeland PBS, KIMT 3 News.
Faith Leaders Gather in St. Paul to Oppose Line 3 Pipeline Replacement, WDIO Radio, February 8, 2019.
County farmer featured in documentary on clean energy, Austin Daily Herald, February 6, 2019.
Partners for Affordable Housing joins solar cooperative; Savings could reach $100,000. Mankato Free Press, November 9, 2018. Partners in Affordable Housing recently subscribed 17 units to the MNIPL / Just Solar Coalition community solar garden in Southern Minnesota. MNIPL's Briana Baker is quoted in the article.
400 Lideres de fe Pidan Votar por el Amor (400 LEADERS OF FAITH ASK TO VOTE FOR LOVE). El Minnesota de Hoy, November 5, 2018. Story on the faith leader letter organized by MNIPL, calling on Minnesotans to vote for candidates whose policies treat all human beings with dignity.
Regulators to decide: Does Minnesota need natural gas to transition to renewable energy? Minnesota Public Radio, October 18, 2018. MNIPL's Bret Pence is quoted in the audio version of this story, questioning the need for the proposed fracked gas plant near Lake Superior.
Groups urge PUC to deny power plant plans. KBJR6, October 15, 2018. MNIPL Northern Minnesota Director Bret Pence is quoted, speaking about the risks of the proposed natural gas facility in Superior, WI.
What churches get wrong (and how to repopulate them), Star Tribune, September 22, 2018. MNIPL Board Chair Dwight Wagenius is quoted in the final paragraph, speaking of social action within faith communities.
The Power of Minnesota documentary (20 min), 2018. Features the Shiloh Temple community solar project in Minneapolis and the American Indian Community Housing Organization solar installation in Duluth. Full documentary available online here.
Community Solar Garden construction to begin near Janesville, The Free Press, September 2, 2018. Features Briana Baker, MNIPL Southern Minnesota coordinator, talking about the new Janesville, MN community solar array and how to get involved.
How Houston's recovering from a hurricane boosted by climate change, Minnesota Public Radio Climate Cast, August 30, 2018. MNIPL Executive Director Julia Nerbonne featured on NPR's Climate Cast speaking about the Just Solar Coalition and community solar, starting at 6:20.
Bemidji Line 3 pipeline protest indicates renewed opposition after regulatory approval, Minnesota Public Radio, August 29, 2018. Story features MNIPL Board Chair Dwight Wagenius, minister at Mayflower Church in Minneapolis.
Does Minneapolis plan rely too much on renewable energy credits? Midwest Energy News, August 3, 2018.
Community solar installation begins in Edina. Sun Current, July 18, 2018.
Environmental questions for District 8 candidates. Duluth Reader, August 2, 2018.
Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Enbridge Line 3 as Vote Looms this Month. Healing MN Stories, June 5, 2018.
Minnesota religious leaders oppose new Enbridge oil pipeline. Star Tribune, June 4, 2018.
Religious leaders oppose proposed Minnesota oil pipeline. Washington Post, June 1, 2018.
Community Solar Garden will be latest economic addition to West Broadway corridor on North Side. Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 4, 2018.
Solar Array Intended to Power Jobs on Minneapolis’ North Side. Minnesota Public Radio, March 9, 2018. A description of our Blessing of the Roof at Shiloh Temple International Ministries.
Beer, but to get your attention on climate change. National Public Radio Climate Cast, March 15, 2018. Listen at minute 9:27 for the Story of Just Solar Coalition Member Keith Dent who MNIPL co-leads the Just B Solar camp.
Larson, City Leading for the Environment, Duluth News Tribune, January 7th, 2018. Editorial was written by MNIPL leadership team members.
Minnesota Power plant in Superior draws opposition, Reader Weekly, Duluth, Feb 22, 2018, quoting Arrowhead Regional Network Director, Bret Pence. More great coverage of this work in these articles, here, here, and here.
Roseville church offers info sessions on Minnesota pipeline and mining proposals, Pioneer Press, Feb 14, 2018.
Greenspace: Local clean energy projects awarded seed grant funding, Post Bulletin, Feb 13, 2018.
New Co-op Vows to Expand Reach of MN Solar Power, Public News Service, September 6th, 2017
Minnesota community solar projects aimed at low-income subscribers, Midwest Energy News, July 6th, 2017
Pax Christi to host community solar garden, Eden Prairie News, June 22nd, 2017
Non-profits educate MN Power customers on proposed rate increase, KBJR6 News, June 6th, 2017
Cross-Cultural Urban garden unites neighbors and a business in a healthy mission impacting climate change, The Alley Newspaper, June 7th, 2017.
The Wonderful Story of the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden and the Community it is Growing, Healing MN Stories, May 19, 2017.
14-year-old with Hollywood ambitions debuts environmental documentary, Fox 9, May 18, 2017.
Erin Pratt on WCCO Radio, WCCO, May 17, 2017. You can catch Erin's whole segment with Jordana Green on 5/17 in the 10pm hour. Erin's piece starts just before the 38th minute.
Mpls. H.S. Freshman Ready To Premiere New Film, ‘All In The Circle’ WCCO, May 17, 2017.
Q&A with a 14-Year-Old Film Director, MPLS St Paul Magazine, May 17, 2017.
All in the Circle on Fox9, Fox 9 Morning Buzz, May 15, 2017.
Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden Planting & Potluck, KSTP News, May 12th, 2017.
Hundreds turn out in Minneapolis for march opposing Trump administration's policies on climate, Star Tribune, April 29th, 2017. Coverage of the local Minneapolis People's Climate March happening in solidarity with the national march in Washington D.C.
People's Climate March to be held in Duluth, Duluth News Tribune, April 26th, 2017
UCC Churches to focus on climate change with Earth Day, People's Climate March UCC.org, April 18th, 2017. Coverage of people of faith making their way to the People's Climate March, featuring our incredibly generous hosts at Cleveland Park Congregational UCC and our own Claire Curran.
Camp shines light on solar energy for kids, Minnesota Public Radio, August 22nd 2016.
Local view: Minnesota Power interested only in self with solar proposal, Duluth News Tribune, May 7th, 2016. Covers our work on truly community solar in the Northland.
In St. Peter, MN, a Solar Fee Blossoms, ILSR, May 2nd, 2016. MNIPL Campaign Coordinator Claire Curran and MNIPL River Prairie Network Member Faith Wicklund quoted about our work in St Peter to support solar and bring Just Community Solar to St Peter and beyond.
Community Forum a Good Conversation on Solar Energy, St Peter Herald, April 6th, 2016. Letter to the editor by MNIPL River Prairie Network member Faith Wicklund about our Community Forum on Solar in St Peter.
Clean energy is about keeping people healthy, MinnPost, April 1st, 2016. Commentary co-written by MNIPL Board Member, Teddie Potter about the connection between health and climate.
St Peter residents, staff talk solar future, Mankato Free Press, March 31st, 2016. Article about our Community Forum in St Peter on solar and bringing Just Community Solar to St Peter.
Thou Shalt Not Toss Food: Enlisting Religious Groups To Fight Waste, NPR, January 18th, 2016. Check out this piece from NPR featuring our friends at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.