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Expiring Subsidies, Not Free Markets, Driving Minnesota Solar Growth

Renewable energy advocates often claim that business is booming for the solar industry in Minnesota, and this is true. However, in order to determine whether this is a good or bad thing for Minnesota residents, it is important to understand why this is the case. A recent article suggests the recent demand in solar development is happening because people want to cash in on the federal solar subsidies before the tax credits taper off over the next five years. According to an article in the Rochester Post Bulletin: "When Steve and Dawn Finnie opened Little Thistle Brewing Co., they had long-term plans...

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Mark Your Calendars for My “Morning in Minnesota” Talk on our Report Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent By 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion

Hi everyone! Don't forget to mark your calendars for my August 27th talk discussing our award-nominated study (vote here!) Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion, and a broader discussion of the Green-New-Deal styled policies that were proposed by DFL members of the Minnesota House of Representative and Governor Walz. Minnesota families already experienced their highest electricity bills ever in 2018, but the politicians who want to mandate that 100 percent of our electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2050 will make this problem even worse. I am pleased to announce that I...

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St. Paul Green Party Mayoral Candidate’s Paper Straw Response to my PiPress Article Doesn’t Hold Up

Last week I had an opinion editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press discussing how Minnesota's foray into wind and solar has led to higher electricity costs for no measurable environmental benefits. This prompted Elizabeth Dickinson, the former Green Party mayoral candidate for St. Paul to write a letter accusing me of using cherry-picked data. However, upon further scrutiny, the logic she uses in her letter to the editor holds up as well as paper straws. This sort of accusation is commonplace, but it does not make it correct. I've posted her letter below with my own thoughts about the points made...

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Doubling Down on Failure Nominated for National Award For Most Influential Research, Vote Now!

I'm excited to announce that American Experiment's study Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion has been nominated for the prestigious Bob Williams award and we need your help! Please click here to vote for our research because doing so will give us the best chance of winning the award. ...

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Midwestern Wind Turbines Were 3 Percent Useful Last Weekend

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. No matter what you did, it was probably more productive than the wind turbines in the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) territory, where the wind utilized just 3 percent of installed capacity, providing a mere 1 percent of the electricity available on the grid. But just because the wind wasn't blowing doesn't mean there was not a high demand for electricity. In fact, July and August are typically the months where electricity use in Minnesota is highest. Ironically, it is also when generation from wind is lowest. The chart below shows Energy Information Administration data for...

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In The Tank (ep202) – Craziest Proposals From Democratic Candidates

Hello! In this week's edition of the In the Tank Podcast, American Experiment's Isaac Orr is joined by Donald Kendal and Justin Haskins of The Heartland Institute to discuss American Experiment's nomination for the "most influential research" award for their study Doubling Down on Failure, for the State Policy Network's Bob Williams award. We also discuss work from the Cato Institute, The Heartland Institute, and the Tax Foundation. Remember to vote for American Experiment by clicking here! https://www.heartland.org/sebin/r/r/ITTe202.mp3 OPENING CHIT CHAT Human Progress – Unskilled Workers and Food Prices in America (1919-2019) https://humanprogress.org/article?p=1798 Google’s extravagant climate change Camp mocked as party for ‘entitled fools’ https://pagesix.com/2019/08/01/googles-extravagant-climate-change-camp-mocked-as-party-for-entitled-fools/    THINK TANK AWARDS SPN -...

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Iowa Utility: Lower Fuel Costs Won’t Offset Rising Prices

One of the most common ways people are misled about the cost of renewable energy is the belief that wind and solar will save them money because they have no fuel costs. However, a recent comment by an Iowa utility shows that this line of thinking is completely wrong. The comment came from a story in the Gazette entitled "The Cost of Things: Why Energy Bills In Iowa Keep Growing, Electricity Bills Bolster Infrastructure, Wind Development," and I was very surprised the utility was so candid with this information. The article states: But while investments in renewables — MidAmerican also has leaned...

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Minnesota’s Air is Great, Again

It seems like we're always being told that we are losing on the environment. Not only that, it seems like we're being told are losing even more today than we were yesterday, but this is blatantly untrue. America in general, and Minnesota specifically, is winning on the environment. One could even argue that Minnesota's air is great, again. Every year the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) releases a study entitled "The Air We Breathe," evaluating the air quality in Minnesota. The 2019 version of this study states shows that Minnesota's air quality meets all federal standards. In fact, emissions of nitrous oxide, sulfur...

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Navy Times: Coal is the Most Reliable Source of Electricity for Our Military

Yesterday I wrote about how oil, not wind and solar, is the most important source of energy for our military. Today I'd like to delve deeper into the electricity sector because having access to reliable electricity is incredibly important for our military, especially as technology continues to play a larger and larger role in keeping America safe. Renewable energy advocates sometimes argue that wind and solar make our country safer, but it is hard to imagine any way that intermittent, unreliable sources of electricity could meaningfully improve our national security in a way that coal, natural gas, and nuclear power cannot. The reason...

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American Frackers, Not Wind and Solar, Increase Our National Security

America has the strongest military might in the world. We have 3,476 tactical aircraft, 760 attack helicopters, 637 unmanned drones, 157 bombers, 2,831 tanks, 93 cruisers, destroyers, and frigates, 10 aircraft carriers, 68 submarines, 31 amphibious ships, and probably more supply trucks than you can shake a stick at. The one thing these military vehicles have in common? They ain't running on wind and solar. They're running on oil. In fact, the United States military is the single-largest consumer of oil in the world, using more than 100 million barrels every single year. Fortunately, the oil used to keep America safe is...

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