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Robert Moffitt
I'm just plain Bob
I'm just plain Bob

Robert's posts

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Assume the position, Navy. Well done. As you were.

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A nice little write-up on our Midwest EVOLVE project, which launched yesterday.

Cleaner Vehicle Fuel Choices Grew In Minnesota In 2016

SAINT PAUL, MINN. – (December 28, 2016) -- Minnesota continued to build on its growth in fuel choice in 2016, adding more biofuel stations, public charging stations for electric vehicles, and expanding the use of natural gas and propane as vehicle fuels. With the price of traditional petroleum fuels so low, it is easy to forget that the need and demand for less-polluting fuels is still growing, as Minnesota looks toward more renewable energy sources.

In 2016, 35 new E85 stations opened throughout Minnesota, roughly twice the number of new stations that opened in 2015. Minnesota currently has 325+ E85 outlets, more than any other state, and flex fuel vehicle drivers on average used more than a million gallons of the cleaner-burning fuel every month. Fuel stations offering E15 gasoline also increased this year. Minnesota is a major ethanol-producing state, with the capacity to refine more than a billion gallons of ethanol each year.

For the third consecutive year, Minnesota increased the biodiesel content in most of the diesel fuel sold in 2016 to a 10 percent (B10) blend in the warm weather months and a five percent (B5) blend in the winter. This past summer, Rochester Public Transit (RPT) began running its 49 transit buses on a 20 percent biodiesel blend, a move that both reduced emissions and saved the city money.

The number of electric vehicles on Minnesota roads continued to grow in 2016, as did the number of public charging stations for plug-in vehicles. Twin Cities Clean Cities, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program locally coordinated by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, recently was awarded a $1 million, three-year grant to promote electric vehicles in seven Midwestern states. Twin Cities Clean Cities is also a sub-awardee of a $4.9 million, three-year Department of Energy grant to promote the use of alternative fuels on I-94 from Moorhead, Minn. to Port Huron, Mich.

In 2016, Osseo Area School students became the latest to ride to school on a bus powered by a cleaner-burning fuel most of us associated with backyard grills – propane. Twenty propane-powered buses operated by First Student now serve the school district. St. Paul, St. Francis and Eastern Carver County schools are also using propane buses.

A compressed natural gas (CNG) station opened in a Lakeville in 2016. It is now possible for CNG-powered buses and trucks to refuel along the entire length of I-94 in Minnesota; newly manufactured CNG-powered buses frequently pass through Minnesota on I-94. The state has 16 public CNG stations. Many Minnesota trash haulers and recyclers are now using CNG, which helps to reduce both emissions and noise.

For more on the alternative fuel choices available in Minnesota, visit

American Lung Association in Minnesota Commends HUD’s Plan to Make Public Housing Smokefree

November 30, 2016 – The American Lung Association in Minnesota applauds the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its announcement today that will require all public housing agencies to go smokefree. This rule will protect two million Americans, across the country, from exposure to secondhand smoke in their homes. This includes those most vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke, including 760,000 children and more than 300,000 adults over the age of 62. The policies apply to residential units as well as common areas.

“Smokefree housing is a win-win – residents breathe better and it costs housing authorities less when their buildings are smokefree. We are glad to see smokefree housing which has been so successful here in Minnesota be expanded nationwide,” said Pat McKone, Regional Senior Director. “Home should be a place safe from the risks of secondhand smoke exposure,” said McKone. “The American Lung Association welcomes this life-saving announcement that will protect so many from those risks, especially the most vulnerable – children, the elderly, low-income Americans and those with chronic lung disease.”

The American Lung Association in Minnesota has been working with partners to support public housing authorities across the state adopt smoke free rules for over seven years, in fact the majority of Minnesota’s public housing authorities have some type of smoking restrictions already in place. The Lung Association has provided education to residents, promoted cessation resources, developed a toolkit and website of helpful resources for managers and residents.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Across the U.S., more than 41,000 deaths per year and a wide array of damaging health effects are caused or made worse by exposure to secondhand smoke, including lung cancer, respiratory infections and asthma. Asthma has a disproportionate impact on low-income residents living in federally subsidized housing and exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger asthma exacerbations. Children with asthma are especially sensitive to secondhand smoke, and may suffer from more frequent asthma attacks and more and longer hospitalizations as a result.

“Because there’s no effective way to prevent smoke from travelling from one unit to another, the only way to fully protect residents of multi-unit housing from secondhand smoke, is for their building to go 100 percent smokefree,” said McKone. “To help in this process, the Lung Association stands ready with tools and resources to help public housing authorities go smokefree.”

More than 600 public housing authorities nationwide have already gone smokefree, protecting their residents and reducing the risk of fires and costs to property owners. The Lung Association continues to assist housing authorities, property owners and residents who are acting voluntarily to make their public housing smokefree, and has also created resources to assist property owners and residents, including an online course, fact sheets and policy briefs, which can be found at

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We're baaaack. Please help us fight for clean air and more sustainable transportation options.

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A group of powerful special interests tried to stop Minnesota's march toward B20 biodiesel. They failed.

Rochester Buses Commit to Clean Air with Biodiesel
Renewable-Based Fuel is Cleaner, Costs Less
ROCHESTER, MINN. – June 2, 2016 – On June 1st, Rochester Public Transit (RPT) switched from the 10 percent biodiesel blend required statewide to a 20 percent blend, a move that will reduce emissions from 49 transit buses while saving money for the city.  RPT officials said that the higher biodiesel content does not require the city to make major investments in vehicles or in fueling infrastructure. RPT has been using a lower percent biodiesel for a number of years. Under State law all diesel fuel will increase to 20% biodiesel beginning May 1, 2018. The decision was welcomed by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, which has long supported biodiesel as a clean air choice® for Minnesota motorists with diesel vehicles.
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