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The “How Do We Make This Bill Less Ugly?” – Proposed Changes to Improve Clean Energy First

The last two days I've reviewed The Good and The Bad parts of the proposed Clean Energy First legislation currently circulating in the Minnesota States Senate. Today, in sticking with our Sergio Leone theme, I'll talk about a few ways to make the bill less Ugly. 1. Instead of Granting Cost Recovery for Prematurely Retired Assets, Require Utilities to Sell the Plants on the Open Market to the Highest Bidder Why should Minnesota families and businesses be forced to continue to pay for a coal plant that is going to be destroyed before the end of its useful lifetime? This should be...

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Study Finds Carbon Dioxide Taxes Reduce Industrial Competitiveness: Implications for Minnesota

A newly-released study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that state-level carbon dioxide taxes and pricing schemes harm industrial competitiveness in the jurisdictions they are enacted. This has important implications for Minnesota because manufacturing is the single-largest private-sector component of Minnesota's economy, accounting for $49.2 billion in annual economic activity, which is about 16 percent of Minnesota's total gross domestic product (GDP). The NBER study concludes that enacting a carbon price of $10 per metric ton reduces employment in the regulated region by 2.7 percent, and raises employment in nearby states by 0.8 percent and the effects on...

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American Experiment Policy Fellow Isaac Orr Applies for Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change

Governor Walz recently announced he would be establishing a Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change that sought to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss Minnesota's energy future. For this reason, Center of the American Experiment Policy Fellow Isaac Orr officially submitted his application to be appointed to the council. You can read his cover letter below. To whom this may concern, My name is Isaac Orr, and I would like to express my enthusiasm and sincere desire to be appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change because our leaders need input from all perspectives if they are going...

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Center of the American Experiment Testifies on the Minnesota Senate’s Clean Energy First Bill in Rochester

Last night, I drove down to Rochester to testify at a hearing on the Minnesota Senate's Clean Energy First bill. As you will see in my testimony, this proposed legislation offers several significant improvements over previous legislation introduced to shape Minnesota's energy future, such as those proposed last session by Governor Walz and the Minnesota House of Representatives. However, there are still a few problematic parts of this legislation that I address later on in my comments. My testimony begins at 1:31:29 and I've pasted my comments below with additional links to provide references for my testimony. https://www.facebook.com/mnsrc/videos/477619166520895/   January 15, 2020 Testimony Clean Energy...

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Friction Among Minnesota Greens and Blue Collar Workers Intensifies After PolyMet Delays

On Monday, we got the news that Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a setback to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota by sending two crucial permits, the permit to mine and the dam safety permit, back to the Department of Natural Resources. The ruling, which also stated the agency must hold a contested case hearing, has opened a widened a rift between the environmental wing of liberal interests in Minnesota, and the blue collar workers who traditionally supported liberal lawmakers. A case in point is this statement from Jason George, who is the Business Manager for the Local 49...

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Minnesota’s GDP growth lags the national rate for the fourth consecutive quarter

In the third quarter of 2019 Minnesota's economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.0% compared to a national rate of 2.1%. It was the fourth consecutive quarter that our state's GDP grew at a slower rate than that of the United States generally and ranked us 27th out of the 50 states and D.C.....

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