Capitol Comments

Under the leadership of 2011 CSG Chair Rep. Bob Godfrey, Connecticut, a national governance working group has been created to examine key ways CSG can advance its mission through enhancements to its governance structure.

The US State Dept. has green-lighted the controversial Keystone XL pipeline which will connect oil sands regions in Canada to refineries in the United States. Controversy swirled around the pipelines routing which will take it across the Great Plains to oil facilities in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. The pipeline project is expected to create 20,000 construction jobs as well as 100,000 indirect jobs and is seen as a boost to North American energy production and security. At its peak, the project is expected to raise Canada’s oil exports by 700,000 barrels a day - equal to the production of Malaysia. The new pipeline is expected to be operational by 2013.

A brief thought provoking write-up in this month’s The Futurist, re: the use of social network information to draw inferences about people.

Minnesota’s government shutdown is entering its third week with no real end in sight. Rather than looking at the politics driving the shutdown, I thought it important to look at impacts on the 22,000 state government employees not getting paychecks.

California’s new requirement for online out-of-state retailers to collect state and local sales tax on goods purchased goes into effect tomorrow. While it is estimated to bring in an additional $317 million annually, online retailers such as Amazon and have cleverly taken steps to avoid such collections.