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Higher Than Expected Natural Gas Prices Highlight Importance of Coal-Fired Power Plants

Generating electricity with natural gas is far more expensive than generating electricity with coal at current gas prices. In fact, natural gas prices must remain below $2.92/mmbtu at a combined cycle natural gas plant, and below $2.24 at combustion turbine plants for consumers to save money on fuel costs relative to coal....

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If Efficiency Is No Longer Cost Effective, We Shouldn’t Subsidize It

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a study on Tuesday saying that electric and natural gas utilities could continue to meet their current efficiency mandates, but that it will become more expensive to do so over time. Under the Next Generation Energy Act, passed in 2007, electric utilities are mandated to reduce their electricity sales by 1.5 percent annually. Electric utilities have reached this goal, but according to the Commerce report, the days of easy, low-cost energy savings are nearing the end. In order to keep up the energy savings, utilities will have to pay higher "incentives" and subsidies to get consumers...

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Minnesota’s government is forecast to take $1.5 billion more from the state’s taxpayers than it says it needs. What should it do with that money?

Minnesota's state government is forecast to have a surplus of $1.5 billion over the next two years. This should kill stone dead any notion that tax increases are called for. Department of Revenue data shows that, in real terms, Minnesota's Total State Tax Collections have risen by 47.5% since 2010. Add this projected surplus, and it is simply unbelievable that the state government cannot find the funds to maintain a core function like roads without tapping the taxpayers up again.  ...

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Minnesota’s economic performance continues to be unimpressive. And there are signs for concern about the future

Yesterday, we released our new report The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2018. After finding Minnesota's economic performance to be 'lackluster' last year, we had to raid the thesaurus again. Our state's economic performance continues to be unimpressive. Furthermore, looking at key drivers of future growth, there is cause for concern. ...

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New Report: Minnesota’s Economy Continues to Lag in Key Areas

[caption id="attachment_12743" align="alignleft" width="167"] American Experiment economist John Phelan[/caption] The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2018 report analyzes the key metrics that have driven Minnesota’s economy over time since 2000, identifying strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for the consideration of policymakers and the public. On the positive side, Minnesotans’ median household income of $70,218 ranks 15th among states, nearly 19 percent over the national average. But a closer look at the data reveals Minnesota achieves that level of household income because a greater percentage of residents are in the workforce (68.8%) than in all but one other state. In fact, Minnesotans have fallen behind the...

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American Frackers Are Dismembering OPEC

OPEC used to to be the most influential cartel in the world. Even if the general public didn't know that OPEC stood for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, they were keenly aware of the power this  group held to raise, or lower, oil prices, and what impact gas prices had on their families. But many people don't realize the power of OPEC is withering under the onslaught of American oil produced on American soil. America's surging oil production is so disruptive to the cartel that the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar has announced it will leave the organization in January. This...

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