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Xcel Energy Will Spend More Than $2 Billion To Maintain Existing Wind Turbines Through 2034

If Minnesota policymakers were truly concerned with providing reliable electricity at a low cost, they would be encouraging utility companies to utilize existing resources, like our existing coal, natural gas, and nuclear power facilities, throughout their useful lives, and wouldn’t be allowing the high level of investments Xcel is asking for....

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2019 Legislative Recap

Center of the American Experiment pushed back against far-left policies like the 100% green energy mandate, 70% gas tax hike, and 9% increase in the state budget. Conservative legislators stopped the most radical ideas, but conceded a 6% budget increase. In a surprise victory, a middle-class income tax cut was also passed....

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Pollution Control Equipment Has Greatly Reduced Emissions at Minnesota’s Clean, Beautiful Coal Plants

Some renewable energy advocacy groups claim that Minnesota should aspire to have cheaper and cleaner electricity by using more wind and solar. Of course, this logic makes no sense because wind and solar increase the cost of electricity in Minnesota, but it is worth looking at whether coal-fired power, which is among the most affordable ways to generate electricity in Minnesota, is actually dirty. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, it isn't. When most people think of coal, they probably think of the smog-filled skies of 1950's Pittsburgh or scenes from modern-day Beijing, but advanced pollution control technology at coal-fired...

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This D-Day Anniversary, Remember the Soldiers, and Remember Minnesota’s Iron Miners

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. The United States could not have prevailed in World War II without the soldiers who stormed those beaches. Likewise, America could not have won the war without Minnesota's miners, who labored tirelessly to produce the iron ore that became the ships, aircraft, and rifles used achieve that feat....

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Electric Bills in Minnesota Reach Record Highs in 2018

According to new information provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), monthly residential electric bills in Minnesota reached record highs in 2018, exceeding $103 per month for the first time. This is an increase of more than 26 percent, in inflation-adjusted dollars, since 2004, before the first utility in the state (Xcel Energy) was mandated to include renewable energy into its portfolio in 2005....

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Appeals Court Ruling Will Delay Line 3 Replacement, Again

On Monday the Minnesota Court of Appeals stated an environmental review of Enbridge’s controversial Line 3 oil pipeline was “inadequate” because it did not consider the effects of an oil spill in Lake Superior’s watershed, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The ruling is the latest delay in replacing aging oil pipeline, which is operating at half of its potential capacity due to safety concerns. The ruling is bizarre because new pipelines, like new cars, are much safer than their older counterparts. In fact, according to data from the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), since 2010 there have been 1,300...

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Postsecondary education: And who — who — will take the road less traveled by?

Four years prostrate to the higher mind isn't right for everyone. Nod if you can hear me. Vigorously if you truly agree. This Sunday Cover op-ed originally ran in the Star Tribune on June 2, 2019. I have spent most of my professional life expressing ideas that cause people to shake their heads horizontally in disagreement rather than nodding vertically in approval. But I’ve seen abundant nodding in the last few years when talking about how large numbers of young Americans who are not terribly interested in attending a four-year college enroll in one anyway — pressured by parents, peers, teachers, school...

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Duluth News Tribune: In Response: Judging Twin Metals Now is Premature, Purely Speculative

Last weekend the Duluth News Tribune ran an editorial from Dean DeBeltz of Twin Metals which argued that anti-mining groups who say Twin Metals cannot operate responsibly are basing these claims on speculation and not science. He could not be more correct. Twin Metals has yet to submit a mining plan, which means anyone who opposes the mine now is not objecting to any potential technical shortcoming in the design of the project, but rather they are opposed to mining in general, and are projecting this opposition onto the Twin Metals project. Unfortunately, this is par for the course. Anti-mining groups like Friends...

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