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Paper by Former American Experiment Intern Reveals the Hidden Cost of Wind to Electricity Consumers

Last month the Odell Wind Farm went on line in Southwestern Minnesota, which will add another 200 megawatts of electricity to Xcel Energy’s portfolio.  Xcel claims this addition of wind will result in savings for customers, but analysis by Tyler McNeal—a former American Experiment intern—calls such savings into question. According to an Xcel news release, this addition of 100 industrial wind turbines “is part of a commitment Xcel Energy made in 2013 to increase its wind capacity by 42 percent by adding 750 megawatts of cost-effective, clean wind energy in the Upper Midwest by the end of 2016.” This is just the...

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Regulatory delay in approving pipeline puts tax revenue and jobs at risk in northern Minnesota

Enbridge—the company trying to gain approval to build the Sandpiper oil pipeline across northern Minnesota—just announced it is buying a $1.5 billion stake in the Dakota Access pipeline.   The purchase, according to the Star Tribune, puts the future of the Sandpiper pipeline “in doubt.”  That’s because the Dakota Access pipeline should provide enough new capacity to decrease Enbridge’s mid-term need for the Sandpiper pipeline. This is a huge blow to northern Minnesota’s economy.  An uncertain future for the Sandpiper pipeline means an uncertain future for $25 million in annual property taxes a new pipeline would contribute to revenue strapped northern Minnesota...

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Cronies vs. Eagles? No Contest!

Normally, if you kill a bald eagle you are in big trouble. You can be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for up to a year for killing a single eagle. That is no idle threat, either: individuals have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for killing bald eagles. Of course, it's different if you are a government crony, like the owner of a wind farm. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed new permits that authorize renewable-energy companies to kill or capture protected eagles for the next 30 years. Michael McGrady writes in Environment and Climate News: The rule would provide...

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Join Us For Climate Hustle!

Please join us for the Center's first American Experiment Night at the Movies. On July 27 at 7:00 p.m., at Hopkins Cinema 6, 1118 Main Street in Hopkins, Minnesota, American Experiment will co-host along with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a showing of Climate Hustle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbC82_5YZtA What is global warming hysteria really all about? The climate, or the Benjamins? Following the documentary, Steve Hayward and I will lead a discussion about catastrophic climate change for those who wish to stay. Steve, if you are not familiar with his work, is probably the foremost conservative expert on environmental policy in the...

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Renewable Mandate Drives New Increase in Utility Bills

Minnesotans continue to pay through the nose for one of the nation's most expensive renewable energy programs. Electric prices rose by 12.5 percent here from 2007 to 2014, versus a 1.6 percent decline in the average price nationwide. Today the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is taking public testimony in the Twin Cities on Xcel Energy's latest request for permission to jack up ratepayers' utility bills by another 9.8 percent over the next three years. The request follows five consecutive years of rate increases for Xcel ratepayers, which begs the question of why. The liberal grassroots group American Association of Retired Persons is...

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How We Know That Human-Caused Global Warming Is a Joke

Our leaders tell us that the planet is threatened with destruction by global warming, caused by human emissions of CO2. This is, they insist, an unprecedented crisis. President Obama has instructed us to turn our thermostats down (in the Winter), and the Defense Department has made combatting global warming a prime military priority. And yet...

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Court Loss Over North Dakota Coal Stokes Long-Shot Appeal by Dayton

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton used to know when to call it quits. After giving himself an “F” and shutting down his Capitol Hill office in response to terrorism, Dayton walked away after one term in the U.S. Senate. It was a slam-dunk. So was the June 15 federal appeals court ruling that Minnesota has no business trying to prevent North Dakota utilities from burning coal and putting the power on the regional grid. But instead of stepping back, Gov. Dayton has stepped up his rhetoric and response to what most observers view as a lost cause legally. He's announced an appeal of...

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Clear Cut Trees Reveal Solar Power’s Environmental Downside

It’s a given that solar power is unreliable as a source of base load power to meet our daily energy requirements. After all, the sun—at best—shines some of the time. Great River Energy’s experimental solar array in the Twin Cities, for example, operated at 13.6 percent of capacity in 2014. The utility recorded overcast skies a full 70 percent of days, observing clear and sunny conditions just 10 percent of the year. Nor does solar power cut it economically without state and federal subsidies, rebates and tax credits. Yet another adverse aspect of this supposedly “clean” energy source continues to be under-appreciated:...

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