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Comments on Xcel’s Resource Plan: Nuclear Isn’t “Clean” and No New Natural Gas Plant

Xcel Energy filed its most recent resource plan on June 30, 2020, for review by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Since then, thousands of Minnesota residents and Xcel customers have filed comments to the PUC giving their say on Xcel’s plan on whether it should be approved or rejected. (You can also file a comment to the PUC by signing our petition here). We oppose Xcel’s resource plan because of the enormous cost burden it would impose onto Xcel ratepayers for decades to come. If approved by the PUC, Xcel’s resource plan will add over 11,500 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity...

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Wind and Solar Special Interests Spent Big To Defeat Senate Conservatives

Elections have consequences, and because the outcomes of the recent elections will have important implications for energy policy in the next two years, it helps to examine the election results. It also helps to understand how groups seeking to mandate more wind and solar on Minnesota’s grid spent their money to influence these results. Post-Election Legislative Makeup  The post-election composition of the Minnesota legislature is similar to the pre-election composition. Minnesota Republicans held onto a 34-33 majority in the Minnesota Senate and they made substantial gains to narrow the DFL majority in the Minnesota House. Additionally, a breakaway caucus of two moderate Senate DFLers...

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Xcel Energy is Decommissioning and “Repowering” Five Wind Facilities Before the End of Their 20-Year Useful Lifespan

Last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved Xcel Energy's $750 million plan to decommission and rebuild, or "repower" five wind facilities before the end of their useful 20-year lifetime. The implications of Xcel's proposal are massive because it demonstrates that many wind facilities don't even last for 20 years before utilities seek to tear down their old turbines and build new ones. According to documents filed with the PUC, Xcel will repower turbines at Grand Meadow, Nobles, Borders Winds, Pleasant Valley, and assist with repowering the Ewington facility. Repowering wind facilities can involve tearing down the old wind turbines...

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Electric Vehicles Are “Trickle Down” Environmentalism

Electric vehicle (EV) supporters often argue that we need to subsidize and mandate EVs to help improve air quality and the environment in low-income and minority neighborhoods in Minnesota. But how can EVs improve air quality for these communities when it is almost always wealthier, white people who live in affluent neighborhoods who buy EVs? For all the criticism liberals usually lobby at supply-side economics, they seem to love the idea of trickle down environmentalism, where wealthy urbanites can act as if they're saving the world and delivering environmental justice to the downtrodden by forcing these same communities to subsidize their...

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