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Michael Shellenberger: Democrats Say California Is Model For Climate Action But Its Blackouts Say Otherwise

California is giving America a preview of the Green New Deal. Millions of families have had their power shut off because of the bad decisions made by politicians. These politicians set up the dominoes leading to the blackouts for decades by shutting down reliable forms of electricity like coal, nuclear, and natural gas, and believing in the fairy tale that wind and solar power would be able to get the job done when the chips were down. We are seeing in real time that they cannot. Michael Shellenberger writes about how Joe Biden's climate plan would usher in an energy system...

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Millions of Californians Lose Electricity Due to Cloud Cover, Low Wind Speeds

Last weekend, two million Californians suffered through rolling blackouts during record-breaking heat because cloud cover reduced the amount of electricity generated from solar power, and low wind speeds resulted in little production from wind energy, according to California's regional grid operator, the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO). If Minnesota does not change it's current course on energy policy, we will soon suffer the same fate. California has some of the most stringent renewable energy mandates in the country. Currently, California law requires requires that 50 percent of California's electricity to be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60 percent by...

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Xcel Energy warns of possible power outages similar to South Australia due to growing renewable presence

Buried within Xcel Energy’s latest resource planning documents lies a dire warning about the rapidly growing presence of wind and solar energy sources on Minnesota’s electrical grid. [Appendix J of the document]. According to the state’s largest electric utility company, Minnesota’s race to dismantle large power facilities - like coal facilities such as Sherco and AS King, and even some hoping for the toppling of the state's two carbon-free nuclear facilities - in favor of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar is creating conditions more susceptible to state-wide power outages. Xcel warns that the growing presence of remote energy sources like wind and...

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Michael Shellenberger: new documentary film, ‘Juice,’ challenges elitism of anti-growth environmentalism

There are generally two types of environmentalists, those who are pro-growth, and those who think economic growth is the problem. Pro-growth environmentalists seek to improve the lives of people living throughout the world by making sure they have access to affordable, reliable sources of energy. Pro-growth environmentalists understand that coal is cleaner than wood, gas is cleaner than coal, and that nuclear power is, in all likelihood, the future of human energy consumption. Anti-growth environmentalism reject these energy sources in favor of telling people they just need to live with less. These anti-growth activists believe in the discredited notions of overpopulation...

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Pro-mining DFL senator ousted in August 11 primary

Pro-mining DLFers in Minnesota lost an ally yesterday, as State Senator Erik Simonson lost his primary race to anti-mining political newcomer, Jen McEwen. The results of this primary, along with the replacement of Senator Tom Bakk with Susan Kent as the DFL minority leader, clearly show that the party is moving further away from its roots in rural farming and labor issues, toward favoring urban environmentalists. According to the Duluth News Tribune: The debate over whether copper-nickel sulfide deposits should be mined in the Northland has loomed large in the campaign. "I've tried to come at this from a practical, common-sense standpoint and...

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How Much Metal Would A Minnesota Green New Deal Require? Part Two

Last week I wrote about how converting Minnesota's electrical grid to a combination of nearly 100 percent wind, solar, and battery storage would consume enormous quantities of copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and steel. While that analysis determined that huge amounts of these metals would be needed for "green" electricity, it is important to remember that electricity is only part of the energy equation, and if we wanted to completely get rid of fossil fuel from our energy economy, it would require much more metal. The pie chart below was created using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As you can see,...

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Biden Announces Opposition to Alaskan Pebble Mine, What Does it Mean for Minnesota?

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has declared his opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, which would mine copper, molybdenum, gold, and critical rare earths elements. Biden announced his administration would stop the mine, according to the Anchorage Daily News.  Biden's announcement is bad news for Minnesotans who support copper-nickel mining in Northern Minnesota, because like the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, the Obama Administration preemptively struck down the Pebble Mine without a fair, scientific review. Biden claims that the Obama administration's decision to preempt the Pebble Mine was based on science, but this could not possibly be true. Rather than...

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Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

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Illegal Mining Threatens Gorillas in the Congo

In November of 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an opinion piece by the Strib Editorial Board "Not This Mine, Not This Location." The piece sought to lay out why Twin Metals Minnesota should not be allowed to develop the large deposits of copper, nickel, and cobalt because the proposed underground mine would be in the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is simply so special that we must not try to manage the environmental risks of mining, we should reject them altogether. Whether the editorial board realizes it or not, their position is the epitome of...

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