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Twin Metals Keeps On Winning, Despite Best Efforts of Urban DFL

Minnesota is home to the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements, and developing these mineral resources will be a massive boost to the economy of our state. While the PolyMet mine has received the necessary permits from the state, the proposed Twin Metals mine has been the ire of urban liberals and environmentalists who do not want to see the mine developed. Fortunately, according to an article in MinnPost, the Trump administration has other ideas and has taken several concrete steps to support the project. The Obama administration blocked new mineral leases for Twin Metals in 2016,...

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Could You Power Your Home With A Bike? Not Even Close

I have a bike trainer in my basement, which is basically a machine that allows you to turn your bike into an exercise bike. As I was riding it the other night, I wondered how much electricity I could potentially generate if I hooked up my bike to a generator and battery, and how much money I would save on my electric bill, so I Googled it. Turns out, you can't save any. The article below is a story that ran in NPR, and it details how woefully unable we are to generate meaningful quantities of electricity with our legs, and how...

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Our Take: Complicated Economics of Community Solar Gardens Subject of Debate

The Star Tribune recently ran an article called "Complicated economics of community solar gardens subject of debate." Seeing how the Strib did not seek our opinion on the topic for their article, I'm providing it below. First and foremost, Minnesota's Community Solar installations are a mess. These solar installations are small, inefficient, and expensive. According to the article in the Star Tribune, Xcel Energy currently purchases power from the solar gardens at a price of 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which is 4.3 times more expensive than the electricity generated at the Sherburne County (Sherco) coal-fired power plant in 2016. Cost data for...

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Thousands Scammed By Organic Food Fraud

Organic food is a touchy subject. Many people think that because it is organic, it is more wholesome and better for the environment. However, there is scant empirical evidence to support these claims. In fact, I've argued before that organic food is actually worse for the environment because the yields are lower, requiring more acres of land be used for farming to produce the same amount of food. This is why I thought it was interesting that thousands of people have been scammed by a large-scale scheme in which ordinary corn and soybeans were fraudulently marketed nationwide as "certified organic." According to an article in...

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High taxes sap Minnesota’s productivity, economic growth

This op ed appeared December 22nd, 2018 in the Duluth News Tribune.  The economist Paul Krugman once wrote that, "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker." He was right. The ability to turn a given amount of inputs into a larger amount of outputs — productivity growth — is the essence of economic growth. Sadly, as we with the Center of the American Experiment illustrate in our new report, "The State of Minnesota's Economy:...

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PolyMet Granted Key Permits from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency!

Great news! The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has granted the final permits for the PolyMet copper-nickel project in northern Minnesota to move forward. According to PCA: "The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today issued the final air and water permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet project in northeastern Minnesota. “Issuing these permits comes after a years-long process that saw the most thorough environmental review any construction project has ever had in Minnesota,” MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said. “We are confident the requirements in these permits will protect the environment and human health over the long term.” The MPCA developed draft permits and released them...

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