The Pulse: Citizens League Issues Scan

"The Pulse", the Citizens League issue scan looks at topics of interest to members of the Citizens League (

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Saturday, February 15, 2003
Energy and Transportation. Taming the Oil Beast. The cover story of the February 24, 2003 issue of Business Week incorporates a six step strategy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil: 1) diversify oil supplies, 2) use strategic reserves, 3) boost industrial efficiency, 4) raise car and truck mileage, 5) nurture renewable energy, 6) phase in fuel taxes to reflect externalities of oil and gasoline consumption. The full story may be found at: (324)

Friday, February 14, 2003
The Hydrogen Economy: Hydrogen could fuel more than Minnesota's cars. Jack Uldrich and Rolf Nordstrom wrote an opinion piece for the February 14, 2003 Star Tribune on the hydrogen economy in Minnesota. They call on Minnesota Governor Pawlenty to follow in the footsteps of Governors in Ohio and Michigan to articulate a vision for the hydrogen economy in Minnesota. Minnesota has both research and fabrication expertise in components of the coming hydrogen economy. The full article may be found at: (323)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Transportation and Technology. Seattle Plans Smart Card for Six Transit Agencies. According to an article in the Seattle Times, negotiators for six transit agencies have reached tentative agreement on a plan that within three years could provide travelers with a computerized "smart card" to pay bus, rail and ferry fares region wide. The negotiators have drafted two documents: an inter-government agreement setting up the system, and a 13-year, $63 million contract with an Australian firm to install and operate it. Such inter-modal coordination - especially if parking were added - is a great convenience to public transit riders. The full article may be accessed at: (322)

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
The Hydrogen Economy: The Hydrogen Economy in Minnesota. Jennifer Bjorhus (, 651-228-2146) wrote an article for the February 11, 2003 Pioneer Press entitled: "Fueling the future. A cluster of Minnesota companies is involved in hydrogen fuel cells." The article described the work of five companies in the metropolitan area that make components used in hydrogen fuel cells to produce electricity. In terms of an overall direction for the hydrogen economy, "No one quite knows how to proceed with what is a "disruptive technology." Minnesota needs a road map...” The full article may be accessed at: (321)

Monday, February 10, 2003
Technology. Broadband Internet Over Power Lines. Jim Suhr wrote for the Associated Press a piece printed in the February 11, 2003 Star Tribune entitled: "Plugging into the Internet may be one day as close as an electric socket." The idea is to make power lines and the common electrical socket and "always on" broadband Internet connection. A St. Louis based company Ameren Corporation is testing the technology. If proven safe the technology could increase competition in the broadband market, lower consumer prices and dramatically increase broadband access in rural areas. More information on the concept and current progress may be found at the Power Line Communications Association website at: (320)

Sunday, February 09, 2003
Public Services: e-Government. State government could deliver services 'faster, cheaper, better' through the Web. Steve Dornfeld, Associate Editorial Page Editor for the Pioneer Press wrote the opinion page piece endorsing the Citizens League report on moving faster on web-enabled government in Minnesota. The full article may be found at: (319)

Public Services: e-Government. Editorial: E-government / Faster, cheaper and better. A Star Tribune editorial published on February 9, 2003 endorses the Citizens League report on e-government issued on Friday, February 7, 2003 pushing for more rapid adoption of web-based government services in Minnesota. The full editorial is at: (318)