fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Ringing in the New Year with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Energy and Environmental Policy for 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! You may or may not be recuperating from last night’s events, but here is a short post on the upcoming, good, bad, and ugly happenings for energy and environmental policy in 2019.

The Good: PolyMet

PolyMet’s NorthMet mining project has cleared all of the regulatory hurdles needed at the state level, leaving a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the final remaining substantive approval. Thankfully, we have a President in the White House who understands the importance of mining and will not delay the project as long as possible in the regulatory morass, like President Obama was wont to do with pipeline projects.

PolyMet will operate a surface mine that will produce roughly 1.2 billion pounds of copper, 170 million pounds of nickel and a trove of other metals over 20 years.

The Bad: A Looming 50 Percent Renewable Energy Standard

The newly-elected Governor and House of Representatives for Minnesota want to double down on failure by enacting a 50 percent renewable energy standard for our state by the year 2030. This will be massively expensive, which will drive up electricity prices for Minnesota families and businesses. We’ll be on top of this as it develops, though.

The Ugly: The Upcoming Chaos For Line 3

Building new pipelines that are safer and more efficient should be celebrated, not sabotaged, but that’s not currently the world we live in. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has rightly approved Line 3, but that doesn’t mean the pipeline protesters will not try to stop it at any costs. So far, they have destroyed construction equipment, interrupted an improv comedy show to intimidate Public Utility Commissioners, and they have threatened a Standing-Rock style occupation of the pipeline path if they don’t get their way.

Last session, Republican legislators tried to get a bill passed that would increase the penalties for people who attempt to block or sabotage critical infrastructure projects, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Dayton.

This post may seem more gloom and doom than I actually feel about the future. I’m rationally optimistic that things will get better despite, not because of, whatever happens in St. Paul.

Remember, elected officials generally follow public opinion, they do not craft it. That is why organizations like ours play an important role in changing the hearts and minds of people all over the state. Please consider starting the New Year off with a contribution to American Experiment.

 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: St. Cloud

    Location: Coyote Moon Grille 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, October 16that Coyote Moon Grille for breakfast with Center policy fellow and energy expert, Isaac Orr. Following his discussion of his new report, “Doubling Down on Failure,” Isaac will be joined by a panel of local leaders for a conversation about renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Coyote Moon Grille, 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Mankato

    Location: Mankato Golf Club, 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, October 17that the Mankato Golf Club for breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Thursday, October 17, 2019 Mankato Golf Club 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now