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Should we worry about a ‘labor shortage’ or rising unemployment in Minnesota?

Over the last year Minnesota has added more people but fewer jobs that the nation as a whole. The number of Minnesotans not working - either unemployed or out of the labor force entirely - has risen, while it has fallen nationally. Perhaps it is time to refocus our attention away from the supposed 'labor shortage' and towards our growing unemployment problem. ...

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WindFail: Minnesota Wind Facilities Could Produce Less Electricity in 2019 Than In 2018

This is huge news. I was looking through some data from the Energy Information Administration's website and I stumbled upon this interesting graph which shows that electricity generation from wind in 2019 could be less than it was in 2018 (red line added for emphasis). As you can see, generation from wind power peaked in December of 2017 and has not reached anywhere close to that height in the following months. In fact, wind output was 24 percent lower in December of 2018 than in December of 2017. It is interesting to note that wind generation did increases by about 1.8 percent in...

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Solar Roads Turned Out To Be A “Colossal Failure”

By now it should probably be more surprising when the next "big thing" in renewable energy isn't a colossal failure, but until that time comes, people will be surprised by how inefficient and expensive wind and solar truly are. The last example is the solar roads built in France and the United States that have turned out to be abject failures. According to Business Insider: Two years after the world's first solar road — the Normandy road in France — was set up, it's turned out to be a colossal failure, according to a report by Le Monde. The road has deteriorated to...

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Secretary of Agriculture Perdue Defends Decision to Renew Mineral Leases

Anti-mining activists have been quick to criticize the Trump Administration's decision to renew the mineral leases for the Twin Metals Minnesota project located north of Ely, Minnesota. However, these criticisms are not intellectually honest. After all, it was the Obama administration, in a lame-duck action, who broke decades of protocol by cancelling these mineral leases and sought a 20 year moratorium on mineral exploration. Even Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar stated the renewable should have been handled through the normal process. This is why it was refreshing to see Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, take to the pages of the Star...

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Low-Cost Natural Gas Saves Thousands of Lives By Lowering Heating Bills

Natural gas is a powerful resources that is saving thousands of lives every single year. That's the conclusion of a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled "Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality" The abstract of the paper states: This paper examines how the price of home heating affects mortality in the US. Exposure to cold is one reason that mortality peaks in winter, and a higher heating price increases exposure to cold by reducing heating use. It also raises energy bills, which could affect health by decreasing other health-promoting spending. Our empirical approach combines spatial variation in the...

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Minnesota – Above average for population growth, below average for employment growth, top for unemployment growth

In the year from June 2018 to June 2019, Minnesota ranked 17th nationally for population growth, 34th nationally for employment growth, and 1st nationally both for the increase in the number of unemployed and the percentage point rise in our unemployment rate. ...

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