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In The Tank (Ep230) – Fracking Facts, and the Stratifying Democratic Presidential Field

Heartland's Donald Kendal and Jim Lakely join Isaac Orr in episode 230 of the In The Tank Podcast. The New Hampshire primary has brought a little more resolution to the Democratic Presidential candidate landscape. The trio discusses what this means and where the remaining candidates stand on issues like taxes and hydraulic fracturing. Speaking of fracking, Isaac Orr brings the facts regarding this important process and how it has enhanced the lives of Americans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RkYIf68fGI...

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My Response to Fox 9’s “The Last Gasp of Coal”

Earlier this week, Fox 9 ran a story entitled "The Last Gasp of Coal," which suggested that coal plants are costing ratepayers a lot of money because of a practice known as self scheduling. Several of our readers sent this story to me, so I decided to reach out to Tom Lyden, the lead reporter on this story, to offer a perspective other than those shared by Fresh Energy, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. You can read my email to Mr. Lyden below. Dear Mr. Lyden, My name is Isaac Orr, and I am a policy fellow specializing in energy and...

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Bloomberg: Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills

Center of the American Experiment has been at the forefront of exposing the short lifespan and enormous cost associated with decommissioning wind turbines at the end of their 20 year useful life. Well, a recent article from Bloomberg had some stunning pictures of wind turbines filling up landfills in Wyoming. According to the article: A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a...

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Can Mining in Minnesota Reduce Child Labor in the Congo?

Cobalt has become a controversial topic in the debate over copper nickel mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex. This metal, which is used in the lithium ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and electric cars, has become a lighting rod because most of the cobalt produced in the world comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where some of the cobalt is mined using child labor. Virtually everyone has a cellphone, laptop, or tablet that has a battery requiring cobalt. This has led many people to ask the question, can mining in Minnesota reduce the demand for unethically mined cobalt in...

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Baltimore County Admits It Hasn’t Been Recycling Glass for 7 Years. It Still Encourages Residents to Recycle Glass.

The following article originally appeared in Reason. Baltimore County residents' have had their perceptions about where their glass ends up shattered. Over the weekend, news broke that the county—which does not include the City of Baltimore—has not been recycling the glass it's been collecting as part of its recycling program. For the past seven years, the jars and bottles that residents dutifully placed in their blue bins have been being junked instead. "There are numerous issues with glass recycling, including increased presence of shredded paper in recycling streams which contaminates materials and is difficult to separate from broken glass fragments, in addition to other limitations...

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Suburb Poised to be First to Withdraw From Controversial GreenStep Program

The suburb of Victoria would become the first Minnesota city to withdraw from the controversial GreenStep Cities program overseen by the state Pollution Control Agency under a resolution Mayor Tom Funk plans to introduce at tonight’s city council meeting. The MPCA program urges local governments to factor environmental sustainability and reducing their “carbon footprint” into everything from budgets to ordinances, land use and long-range planning. Yet a growing network of citizens and local elected officials view GreenStep as an unnecessary drain on city resources, risk to taxpayers and threat to local control. “They make it sound like it’s really good but what...

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Pollution Control Agency Steps in It on Cow Emissions, Shows They Have No Business Regulating Greenhouse Gases On the Agriculture Industry

Last year, I wrote about how the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), a group that opposes mining and reliable natural gas and coal-fired power plants, sued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at the Minnesota Court of Appeals for not considering the impact that expanding a dairy operation would have on greenhouse gas emissions during the permitting process. Surprisingly, the Court of Appeals agreed with MCEA and sent the permit back to MPCA to determine  the greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated from expanding the farm. MPCA has now released its supplement to its Environmental Assessment Worksheet, and it contains...

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Walz Accelerates Push for Unpopular California Car Mandates in Minnesota

It appears Governor Walz is accelerating his push to circumvent the legislative process by using the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to impose unpopular California car mandates on Minnesota. These new regulations would force Minnesota to adopt California's mandates for low emission vehicles (LEVs) and zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) exactly as they are written in California. In our quarterly Thinking Minnesota poll, Center of the American Experiment found these mandates, which would increase the cost of vehicles sold in Minnesota, are deeply unpopular. The polling shows 68 percent of Minnesotans oppose the Governor's proposed California car mandates, if it would increase...

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Federal Data Show Walz’s Line 3 Delay Has Been an Anti-Science Charade

On Monday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted in favor of three key approvals for the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project, a revised environmental review, a certificate of need, and a route permit by a three to one margin. Although this is very good news that should allow the replacement of the aging pipeline to begin this year, federal data from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) show the delay should have never happened in the first place. During the Gubernatorial campaign, Tim Walz expressed his support for replacing the aging Line 3 pipeline, which transports crude...

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