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The ECO Act Would Force You To Subsidize Electric Vehicles

Next week, the State Senate will be considering the ECO Act, which would make changes to Minnesota's energy efficiency program, which is called the Conservation Improvement Program, or CIP. There are several positive aspects of this bill, including an important shift away from forcing utility companies to spend more money than they may need to reach their energy efficiency goals. However, there are also provisions of the ECO Act that would force Minnesota families to subsidize electric vehicle (EV) rebates by paying more for their energy each month, and these provisions should not be included in the bill. Our readers strongly oppose...

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Shutting Down Boswell Energy Center Would Devastate the Iron Range Economy

Standing on the banks of the Mississippi River in Cohasset, Minnesota, the Boswell Energy Center is the most productive, lowest-cost source of electricity in the entire state. Because Minnesota’s mining and paper industries use massive quantities of electricity, only the coal-fired Boswell plant can provide the reliable, affordable electricity needed to keep these industries running strong. However, liberal lawmakers from the Twin Cities—and their friends in the wind and solar lobby—want to shut the plant down to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even though doing so would have zero measurable impact on future global temperatures. It would, however, have devastating consequences for Iron...

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How Falling Production From Wind Turbines Increases the Cost of Wind Energy

Yesterday, we wrote about a newly-released, peer-reviewed study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found a steep drop off in wind turbine production over the course of a wind turbine's lifetime. The fact that wind turbines produce less electricity as they age has means that most of the cost estimates for electricity generated from wind turbines that don't take this production decline into account are too low. Less Productive Means More Expensive The cost of generating electricity from all power plants is often expressed using a metric called the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), which attempts to figure out the...

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Minnesota Wind Facilities Responsible for Hundreds of Bird and Bat Fatalities to Start 2020

The start of 2020 hasn’t been good for anyone. No more so for the birds flocking around Minnesota wind farms. Based on documents filed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Minnesota wind facilities are responsible for at least 330 wildlife fatalities in 2020. These fatalities span 42 different species, six of which are listed in Minnesota’s Wildlife Action Plan as Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) including two that are Species of Special Concern (SPC). However, this certainly is not a total estimate of the number of wildlife fatalities caused by wind farms in Minnesota. Bird and bat fatality monitoring is required only...

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U.S. Wind Turbine Output Drops Steeply After Ten Years, When The Subsidies Expire

A newly-released study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) drops an enormous bombshell on wind energy in the United States. The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Joule, examines production decline data from 917 wind facilities throughout the United States, and found that wind turbines become 13 percent less productive by the time they are 17 years old, and that most of the decline in production occurs after year ten, which just so happens to be the time frame when the projects are no longer eligible for federal subsidies. It's All About the Subsidies, Baby! Wind power is entirely dependent upon...

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Todd Myers: The Coronavirus Lockdown Has Not Made the Air Cleaner

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the Coronavirus shutdown had not resulted in lower levels of particulate matter in the Twin Cities despite a dramatic downturn in daily car traffic. I got the idea to write that article from my friend, Todd Myers, who is the director of environmental policy at the Washington Policy Center. He recently wrote another article on the subject that was published in the National Review. You can read that article below. The Coronavirus Lockdown Has Not Made the Air Cleaner- Why are so many activists saying so anyway? Just about every day, someone claims that the air...

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At 32 Years Old, I’ve Lasted More Than 1.5 Times Longer Than Most Wind Turbines

Today is my 32nd birthday. That means so far, I've lasted more than 1.5 times longer than the 20 years useful lifespan of most wind turbines. The short useful lifetime of wind turbines and solar panels is one of the most important, but least-talked about aspects of energy policy. Many people think that once these sources of energy are built, they will provide "free" electricity indefinitely, but this is not anywhere near the reality that we have observed. In the real world,  I'll likely outlive any wind turbine built before the year 2050, which is  the year Governor Walz wants to have...

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Conservatives Should Say No To Proposed Fuel Switching Provisions of Conservation Improvement Program Bill

As this legislative session draws to a close, Minnesota lawmakers will be considering changes to the state’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). Among the changes considered are provisions that would allow the CIP program to fund fuel switching, which would allow utility companies to subsidize the switch from using natural gas to electricity in the case of home heating, or to subsidize the switch from conventional cars to electric cars. However, these changes will amount to government picking losers and increasing the cost of energy for Minnesota families and businesses who have already been battered by the economic fallout of the Coronavirus...

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Benjamin Zycher: Earth Day 2020: The Exhaustion of the Climate Left

The following article originally appeared in RealClearMarkets and was written by Benjamin Zycher: “Climate Action” is the theme of this 50th Earth Day, and it is useful to note that these five decades of apocalyptic warnings truly are amazing in their consistency: Not one actually has come to pass. The juxtaposition of two news stories, respectively from 1988 and from last January, is among the more amusing tidbits from decades of climate fearmongering. The former: “A gradual rise in sea level is threatening to completely cover” the Maldives. The latter: “Maldives to open four new airports in 2020.” Amusement aside, the theme this year is a clear sign...

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ACTION ALERT! Tell Your Legislator Clean Energy First Will Increase Electricity Prices and Could Kill 10,000 Jobs ASAP

Nearly 670,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs since March 16, 2020 due to the Coronavirus shutdown, and on Friday, May 15 at 8:30 AM, the Minnesota State Senate Finance Committee will be considering passing the Clean Energy First bill, which could destroy thousands more jobs by paving the way for more expensive and unreliable forms of energy like wind and solar. Center of the American Experiment’s analysis has found this legislation would cost nearly $46 billion through 2050, cause electricity prices to increase by 35 percent in areas served by Xcel Energy, and that these higher electricity prices could destroy more than...

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