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A bill in the Minnesota legislature seeks to repeal a provision that exempts a tax-funded state development agency from open records laws, Minnesota Public Radio reports this morning.

The Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board, which is funded by mining tax revenue, was the source of a $9.5 million loan to the Mesaba Energy Project, a proposed “clean coal” plant in northern Minnesota that we reported on last April.

When opponents of the plant sought in 2010 to access IRRRB financial records related to the project, they found the agency had been exempted from releasing that information under a little-known provision inserted into a conference bill in 2008.

MPR reports
the bill to repeal that provision has been approved by the House, but does not have a Senate counterpart.

Read the full story at MPR News.

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.