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Plastic Bags Save Lives, So Why are “Environmentalists” Trying to Ban Them?

Plastic bag bans and taxes have become all the rage in urban areas, as generally affluent, liberal city officials try to reduce the use of plastic bags. However, current events with the COVID-19 virus show that environmental virtue signalling by banning plastic bags could come at a large cost to public health. According to an article in City Journal:  "The COVID-19 outbreak is giving new meaning to those “sustainable” shopping bags that politicians and environmentalists have been so eager to impose on the public. These reusable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and flu viruses—and spread the viruses throughout the store. Researchers have been...

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Coronavirus Could Keep Wind Industry From Soaking Up More Subsidies

The Coronavirus is disrupting the global supply chain for solar and wind energy because many of the components used in solar panels and wind turbines are made in China, according to multiple reports. This disruption could delay wind projects, which could potentially prevent them from qualifying from recently-extended federal subsidies. According to a piece in The Washington Examiner: "Renewable energy relies on a global supply chain," said Greg Wetstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. "There are very real concerns about the ability to get critically important parts of the supply chain in a timely fashion, and that's particularly important for our...

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Wind Turbine Owned by Apex Clean Energy Catches Fire in Texas

On March 8th, a wind turbine owned by Apex Clean Energy caught fire in South Texas. Many people don't realize this, but wind turbines require oil to operate. Oil, which is often demonized by wind-energy advocates, is used to reduce friction in the wind turbine. It also keeps the gearbox clean and protects metals surfaces from corrosion, according to Wind Power Engineering. Oil is also flammable. According to an article in a South Texas newspaper: It was a normal lazy Sunday before area fire crews got a call that a wind turbine was on fire on County Road 3683, in between Taft...

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Minnesota Electricity Rates Increased Again in 2019, Reaching New All-Time Highs

Newly-released data from the United States Energy Information Administration show that electricity rates in Minnesota increased again in 2019, reaching new all-time highs. The increase in electricity costs affected all classes of consumers, resulting in higher costs for families, businesses, and factories. It didn't used to be this way. In fact, Minnesota once had electricity prices that were nearly 20 percent below the national average, but since 2005, when Xcel Energy was required to start adding significant amounts of wind on its system, electricity prices have increased by nearly 60 percent, which is about 30 percent more than the national average,...

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Coronavirus-Induced Shortage of Solar Panel Components Highlights China’s Major Role in Solar Supply Chain

Last week, the Star Tribune ran a story about how the Coronavirus has disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, potentially causing the delay of two large solar installations in Wisconsin. The supply-chain interruptions have occurred because of factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China, highlighting the major role that China has plays in the solar supply chain. According to the article: "Asia, and particularly China, is the globe’s primary supplier of solar cells and panels, and is also a major source of inverters and racking system components. Racks hold solar panels in place; inverters convert panels’ DC current into AC. Also, about...

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Sunday Funnies: Rom Rebuked at Ely Mining Meeting

Anti-mining activist Becky Rom was rebuked this week in Ely, Minnesota, when the city council unanimously passed a pro-mining resolution. According to the Star Tribune, more than 100 people packed into the council chambers, with many of them holding pro-mining signs. A small group of environmentalists was reportedly also in attendance, including Rom. It appears the pro-mining faction of the meeting did not agree with her viewpoint, turning their pro-mining signs toward Rom after her anti-mining resolution was not heard by the council.  ...

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Four Takeaways from The Capx2050 Transmission Planning Report

One of the biggest issues for Minnesota's electric grid is the topic of transmission lines. Transmission lines are expensive, and renewable energy sources, especially wind, require a lot more transmission lines than a grid powered by conventional generation resources like natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric power. The last round of transmission spending was called CapX2020, which built approximately 800 miles of transmission lines, at a cost of $2 billion, according to a story in the Star Tribune. The transmission lines built as part of the CapX2020 are already full, so a new study called CapX2050 is being conducted to learn how...

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Efforts to Prevent The Walz Administration’s California Car Mandates Advance in the Senate

Today was a step forward for the efforts of conservative lawmakers to prevent the Walz administration from imposing unpopular California car mandates on Minnesotans. Senate File 3496 passed out of the Minnesota Senate's State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. You can watch the hearing on the bill at the link below. https://www.facebook.com/mnsrc/videos/2275278436108528/?comment_id=2275304272772611&notif_id=1583437629234897&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic   I've previously testified in front of the Senate on this bill, explaining why it would be beneficial for Minnesota consumers. I also detailed that while the costs would be significant, the environmental benefits would be immeasurably small. It is encouraging to see that the Walz administration's attempt to...

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