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Should EV Charging Stations Be Regulated as Utilities? Kentucky Joins Majority to Say ‘No,’ Minnesota Should Too

Last week, Kentucky regulators ruled that electric vehicle charging stations were not considered utilities under state law, according to Utility Dive. In doing so, Kentucky joins Iowa, Vermont and California in determining that chargers do not provide a public service in the same way that other electric services do. This makes sense, because owning an electric car is a luxury item. The graph below from the Energy Information Administration shows most electric car owners make more than $100,000. Not surprisingly, most of the household that own electric cars also have a regular car. Therefore, the argument that electric car chargers are a vital public...

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Mortenson Construction to Use Robotic Equipment On “Primarily Renewable Energy Projects”

Mortenson Construction is one of the largest renewable-energy construction firms in the country, but it appears the firm will be dolling out less "green" to their laborers. A recent story in the Star Tribune discusses how Mortenson will be employing remote-controlled bulldozers to prepare sites for wind turbines instead of hiring laborers to man the machines. The remote-controlled bulldozers will be first be employed on remote projects in Wyoming where worker housing and other logistical difficulties make automation  economically attractive, but there's no reason to think it would be impossible for the company to begin using automated equipment in other areas...

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New Study Finds Wind and Solar Are Still More Expensive Than Existing, Even Brand New, Fuel-Based Generators

A new study published by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) concluded that building new wind and solar farms is up to 120 percent more expensive per megawatt hour of production than existing resources, like natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric generators, shown in the chart below. These findings suggest that Minnesota utility companies, lawmakers, and renewable energy advocacy groups have been falsely implying that by building new wind and solar facilities in the state, electricity costs would be reduced. Instead, due to the irresponsible renewable energy policies and mandates that have taken hold in Minnesota, what we have seen is...

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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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