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French Tax on Gas and Diesel Triggers Enormous Protests

Diesel prices in France have skyrocketed more than 23 percent over the last 12 months and French motorists already spend more than $7.00 per gallon, USD. Despite these enormous costs, French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the rising gas taxes are needed to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investment.  The new taxes would raise the cost of diesel fuel by nearly 30 cents per gallon, and will continue to climb in the coming years....

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Another One Bites the Dust: Wisconsin Wind Farm Decommissioned After Just 20 Years

An industrial wind facility in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin has been decommissioned after just 20 years of service because the turbines are no longer cost effective to maintain and operate. The decommissioning of the 14 turbines took many people by surprise, even local government officials and the farmer who had five of the turbines on his property. Why Are We So Surprised? What's really surprising about these wind turbines being decommissioned after 20 years is the is the fact that people were surprised by it. You'd be astonished at how many people I talk to that have no idea that wind turbines only last for 20...

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Anti-Pipeline Protesters Ruin Theater of Public Policy Performance for Everyone

Angry anti-pipeline protesters crashed the party at The Theater of Public Policy Monday evening, as eco-activists who oppose building new pipelines to safely and efficiently transport oil decided the show must not go on. The Star Tribune reports: "Tane Danger has been hosting the Theater of Public Policy for 350 shows in seven years, melding topical discussions with improvisational comedy. For the first time Monday evening, he canceled mid-show after anti-pipeline protesters in the crowd continuously shouted down his guests, two utility regulators. Acrimony from a PUC meeting earlier Monday — in which the panel reaffirmed its support for a new $2.6 billion...

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Patrick J. Michaels Discusses Climate Change on FOX’s Life Liberty & Levin

Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. Michaels is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He was a research professor of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia for 30 years. Michaels was a contributing author and is a reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Michaels holds AB and SM degrees in biological sciences and plant ecology from the...

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Activists Lose Latest Round in Vital Pipeline Replacement Project

If they keep this up, the rabble-rousers opposed to the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project may yet prove there's something to the layman's definition of insanity. The hard-core group of anti-pipeline activists was back at it again today doing the same thing as in previous public meetings, namely disrupting a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearing, while evidently expecting different results. But their predictable antics backfired again, according to Fox-9 News. The MPUC board ignored the noisy shouting and unanimously affirmed its support for the critical pipeline. State regulators on Monday refused to reconsider their decision granting the go-ahead of the controversial Enbridge...

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The Production Tax Credit: Corporate Subsidies & Renewable Energy

Wind energy is a $14 billion industry made up of wind facilities, turbine manufacturers, and financiers. While the industry grew over the past few decades, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and its corporate members pushed for new and continued subsidies that would enable large energy corporations to profit at the expense of taxpayers....

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Want to Save on Your Utility Bill? This Minn. Nonprofit Has Some Tips

MPR ran a piece about the efforts of Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Minnesota to educate people on how to lower their utility bills. Among the brilliant, energy-saving insights provided by CUB were: Changing light bulbs and turning off lights and gadgets when not in use. Turning down the heat on your water heater. Washing clothes in cold water, instead of warm water. Adding insulation to your home. Putting plastic over windows in the winter to keep the cold air out These revolutionary recommendations can probably save the average home tens of dollars over the course of a year! But if CUB, which has...

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MPUC Chair’s Nomination for New Job Raises Concerns

Remember the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Chair who was so torn over the burdens of exercising her authority over the Enbridge 3 pipeline replacement project last summer that she sobbed during the panel's deliberations? MPR's coverage left little to the imagination. PUC Chair Nancy Lange broke down at one point, grabbing a handful of tissues and expressing how conflicted she was about allowing fossil fuels to cross the state for decades to come. "How would I feel if I woke up in five years and that line had leaked?" Lange said, referring to the possibility that the old Line 3 would continue operating, despite...

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Listen Up: Isaac Orr Talks About the Importance of Keeping Existing Power Plants Running on the Plugged in Podcast

I had the pleasure of being on the Plugged In podcast, hosted by the Institute for Energy Research, last week. On the show, I talk about why closing down existing coal and nuclear plants is a bad idea, and how Australia has experienced skyrocketing electricity prices in the wake of imposing a carbon tax (now repealed) and setting aggressive renewable energy mandates. Enjoy! [embed]https://soundcloud.com/ieresearch/9-issac-orr-of-the-center-of-the-american-experiment-on-energy-in-minnesota[/embed]...

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A Little Math Shows Switching to Natural Gas Will Probably Increase Fuel Costs for Minnesota Ratepayers

It's a common refrain for energy policy: it is cheaper to generate electricity from natural gas than coal. In some respects this is true, but power plant efficiency and fuel prices are important variables we should consider before we completely shutter Minnesota's coal fleet in favor of renewables and natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants are more efficient than coal plants because they use the heat produced as gas is burned to make 50 percent more electricity. It's hard to explain, so I've included a video below. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ4yp_0Djvc#action=share[/embed] However, not all natural gas plants are combined cycle plants, and many of the...

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