Freedom of religion is an important aspect of American culture, especially in the area of land use and zoning. Faith communities interested in establishing centers of congregation have certain access rights that cannot be ignored without limiting their ability to practice their faith. A good example of how such issues can play out is a Department of Justice lawsuit filed against the City of St. Anthony Village in connection with the rejection of a proposal to build an Islamic center back in 2012.
While the heyday of Minnesota's Iron Range is over, another mining boom may be around the corner. For environmentalists, that is not such good news. The sand mines in the state, notably the mines in Houston County, are hoping to supply the gas and oil industry with a key ingredient of the solution used in fracturing.
Minnesota may not be sitting on the Bakken shale, but we do have a seat in the second row of the fracking controversy. Fracking, of course, is short-hand for hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract oil and natural gas from shale deposits.