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Are Liberal Minnesota Energy Policies Making Pollution Worse?

Improving Minnesota's air quality is often used as justification for mandating wind and solar on our electric grid, and now groups like Fresh Energy want to ban the use of natural gas for heating new buildings. However, there is a very persuasive argument to be made that these policies will actually result in making Minnesota's air quality worse. First of all, it's important to note that Minnesota's air is already very clean. The graph below is from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and it shows Minnesota meets federal air quality standards for ozone, fine particles, lead, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide,...

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Statewide View Column: Trump Can Stop Walz From Turning Minnesota into a Cold California

This article originally appeared in The Duluth News Tribune. In late September, Gov. Tim Walz announced he would circumvent the Legislature by using the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s bureaucratic rulemaking process to force Minnesota to comply with California’s regulations mandating the use of zero-emissions vehicles and low-emissions vehicles (“Minnesota to follow California auto standards,” Sept. 26). Proponents of these rules claim they will improve consumer options and the environment, but the truth is these mandates will raise vehicle costs for families and businesses with no measurable environmental benefit. Thankfully, the administration of President Donald Trump may preempt Gov. Walz’s attempt to let unelected...

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You’re Getting Black Friday Deals Everyday on Oil and Natural Gas Thanks to Fracking

Many people will be heading to the mall today or scouring online to score sweet deals on the latest goods and services as part of the annual Black Friday tradition, but one thing people probably don't realize is that they have been getting Black-Friday quality deals on oil and natural gas for the last several years thanks to hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," This technology revolutionized the energy industry and transformed the United States of America into the single-largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world seemingly overnight. Using fracking to produce oil and natural gas has caused...

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Minnesota Still one of 10 Worst States for Business Taxation.

The Tax foundation has released its 2020 State Business Taxation Index and Minnesota is ranked 45th among the 50 states. The state is down from 43rd for 2019, and slightly better than 46th for 2017 and 2018. Minnesota has generally ranked among the worst 10 states for business taxation mainly due to high corporate income and individual income taxes. There has been no significant change in tax scores or rankings for Minnesota. Minnesota Tax Ranking 2017 2018 2019 2020 Overall Tax 46 46 43 45 Corporate Income Tax 43 43 42 44 Individual Income Tax 45 46 46 46 Sales Tax 25 25 27 28 Property Tax 28 28 31 26 Unemployment Insurance Tax 33 37 25 34   Minnesota Tax scores 2017 2018 2019 2020 Overall tax 4.19 4.31 4.37 4.35 Corporate Income Tax 4.41 4.21 4.20 4.33 Individual Income Tax 3.14 3.49 3.62 3.61 Sales Tax 4.82 4.80 4.76 4.63 Property tax 4.80 5.01 5.07 5.07 Unemployment Insurance Tax 4.87 4.73 4.89 4.78 There is a way out Some states have been...

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China is Building 34 Times More Coal Than Exists In Minnesota, So Why Are We Raising Our Power Prices?

According to an article in The Financial Times, China is set to add new coal-fired power plants equivalent to the EU’s entire capacity. as the world’s biggest energy consumer ignores global pressure to rein in carbon emissions in its bid to boost a slowing economy. The article states that China is building 148 gigawatts, or 148,000 megawatts, of coal. For context, Minnesota has 4,309 MW of coal, meaning China will build 34 times more coal-fired power plants in the coming years than currently exist in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In fact, these coal additions mean will nearly eclipse the entire...

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MIT Pumps the Brakes on Electric Vehicle Cost Decline Estimates

A new report from the MIT Energy Initiative warns that EVs may never reach the same sticker price so long as they rely on lithium-ion batteries, the energy storage technology that powers most of today’s consumer electronics. In fact, the research found it will likely take another decade just to eliminate the difference in the lifetime costs between electric vehicles and gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, even after higher fuel and maintenance expenses of standard cars and trucks are taken into account. Hopefully Governor Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who want to adopt California regulations mandating the use of electric cars,...

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