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San Francisco Bans Reusable Bags, Reverses Plastic Bag Ban in Coronavirus Fight

San Francisco is banning reusable shopping bags and reversing its ban on plastic bags to prevent outside germs from entering grocery stores as the coronavirus pandemic affects cities around the country, according to an article in The Hill.  Prohibiting the use of reusable bags during these circumstances (and reversing policies banning or taxing single-use plastic and paper bags) makes sense, which is why many private companies have already taken the initiative to ban them in their stores. At this time, it doesn't appear that reusable bags are so much a threat to other shoppers who maintain social distancing, but they could...

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Energy jobs report shows that “clean energy” is all about creating unproductive jobs

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota Year after year The CEEM (Clean Energy Economy Minnesota) continues to hail the potential of the “clean energy” sector to produce and grow jobs.  Last year, CEEM praised the “clean energy” sector for employing 61,047 Minnesotans in 2018. CEEM also praised the state`s “clean energy” sector for adding 2,700 jobs between 2017 and 2018- growing more than 2.5 times faster than overall job growth in the state which was 1.9%. This is all according to the 2019 USEER (US Energy Employment Report). Now the 2020 US Energy Employment Report is out, and the numbers are the same. And...

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Metro To Miners: You’ll Have to Do Something Else

A recent story in Politco  entitled "Minnesota on the edge: 'I've voted Democrat my whole life. It's getting tougher," details how the political leanings of Minnesotans on the Iron Range, who had traditionally leaned toward the DFL, are beginning to shift. The shift is occurring because a significant number of people living on The Range feel that the party has become more focused on its urban constituency, which has lost touch with the pro-labor, pro-mining constituencies on The Range. Energy and environmental issues are at the forefront of the diverging interests of urban liberals and blue-collar workers up North. Urban greens,...

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Walz Wisely Designates Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines as “Essential Operations” During COVID-19 Shutdown

COVID-19 continues to dominate the state and national conversation, and more jurisdictions are issuing Shelter in Place orders to try and slow the spread of the virus to buy time for healthcare providers to prepare for the peak caseload. These orders have required the closure of businesses that have been deemed non-essential. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is to be commended for recognizing the importance that oil and natural gas pipelines play in the everyday lives of all Minnesotans, and all Americans, by deeming them to be essential. The map below shows the extensive network of energy pipelines operating in the state....

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Seven: Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking” as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, banning fracking would cause  greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota power plants to increase by approximately 25 percent above estimated 2019 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions would increase because a fracking ban would triple the cost of generating electricity with natural gas, making it impossibly expensive to use. As a result, Minnesota utilities would likely return to burning more coal to generate electricity, which emits...

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Jobs Report Calls Quality, Quantity of Solar Jobs Into Question

Renewable energy advocates often claim that subsidizing and mandating wind and solar will produce long-term job benefits, but the newly-released 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report contains data that calls into question the quality and quantity of solar jobs in the United States. Quality of Solar Jobs The U.S. Energy and Employment Report data show that a majority of workers in the solar industry are in the construction sector, which includes solar installation technicians. These jobs are temporary in nature,  and are largely dependent upon state mandates and federal subsidies, along with utility profit-seeking, to generate demand for solar installations. Another report by the...

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Gas Prices Will Soon Be Under $1 As a Result of COVID-19 Lockdowns, Saudi and Russian Price War

Minnesota drivers might have noticed falling prices at the pump over the weekend, and prices are about to fall below a dollar per gallon of gasoline, at least that's my prediction based on the fact that crude oil prices have now fallen to a 17-year low. Prices are falling because many people are no longer commuting to work and businesses are closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19, and because a price war is being waged by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second- and third-largest producers of oil in the world, behind the United States. Demand Drops from COVID-19 According to...

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Federal Coronavirus Spending Excludes Renewable Energy Subsidies, A Benefit to All Americans

Earlier this week, American Experiment wrote about how some Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate had opposed the proposed pandemic relief spending bill because did not include more subsidies for the wind and solar industry, among other items on the liberal wish list that are totally irrelevant to the virus outbreak. Thankfully, attempts to insert these pork-barrel projects into the bill failed, which benefits all Americans by not providing even more incentives for unreliable, weather-dependent resources that increase the cost of providing electricity to everyone. It wasn't due to lack of trying, though. According to an article in Utility Dive:  "Despite...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Six: Impossibly Expensive Electricity

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking.” However, banning fracking would cause the cost of generating electricity with natural gas to skyrocket by tripling the cost. As a result, places like Minnesota would either see utilities switch back to coal-fired power plants, or if Xcel Energy gets to fully implement it's plan to shut down coal-fired power plants before the end of their useful lifetime and replace them wind, solar, and natural gas, Minnesota families will be shocked at...

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Should Minnesota Ban Reusable Shopping Bags That Could Transmit the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed a flaw in the trendy plastic bag bans now in place in environmentally self-conscious states and cities. Concerns over the public health threat posed by fabric shopping bags that could transmit COVID-19 has led New Hampshire to become the first state to issue an emergency order banning the use of reusable bags temporarily in favor of disposable plastic and paper bags. The backlash over the bags did not escape the notice of Grist, an environmentalist online publication. “Our grocery store workers are on the front lines of COVID-19, working around the clock to keep New Hampshire families...

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