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Governor Walz’s California Car Mandates Will Have No Meaningful Impact on Pollution

In September, the Walz Administration announced its intention to force Minnesotans to comply with low-emissions vehicle (LEV) and ‘zero’-emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations developed by unelected bureaucrats on the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Instead of asking the legislature to approve this move, Governor Walz wants to impose these regulations by using the rule-making process of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Yesterday, I wrote about the implications these regulations would have on low-income and minority communities. While proponents of this rule argue it will reduce air pollution, Minnesota's air is already clean, and imposing these regulations will simply add extra cost while still...

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Are Governor Walz’s Proposed California Car Mandates Racist?

In September, the Walz Administration announced its intention to force Minnesotans to comply with low-emissions vehicle (LEV) and 'zero'-emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations developed by unelected bureaucrats on the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Instead of asking the legislature to approve this move, Governor Walz wants to impose these regulations by using the rule-making process of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). As part of this process, MPCA is seeking comments from the public to inform the rule-making procedure. I encourage you to submit your comments by emailing sheena.denny@state.mn.us to let the agency know what your thoughts are about the subject. One of...

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China is Building 34 Times More Coal Than Exists In Minnesota, So Why Are We Raising Our Power Prices?

According to an article in The Financial Times, China is set to add new coal-fired power plants equivalent to the EU’s entire capacity. as the world’s biggest energy consumer ignores global pressure to rein in carbon emissions in its bid to boost a slowing economy. The article states that China is building 148 gigawatts, or 148,000 megawatts, of coal. For context, Minnesota has 4,309 MW of coal, meaning China will build 34 times more coal-fired power plants in the coming years than currently exist in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In fact, these coal additions mean will nearly eclipse the entire...

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Duluth News Tribune: In Response Column / It’s True: No Waste-Rock Piles, No Acid Mine Drainage at Twin Metals

Twin Metals made waves earlier this year when the company announced they would be using the dry stack tailings storing method, which is considered to be one of the safest way to store mine tailings. While even some anti-mining groups gave a tepid positive response (they seemed like they were caught flat footed, to be honest) other groups continue to contend that copper nickle mining cannot be conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. Julie Padilla of Twin Metals responds to some of these accusations in the Duluth News Tribune. We at Twin Metals always appreciate an opportunity to educate the public on...

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MIT Pumps the Brakes on Electric Vehicle Cost Decline Estimates

A new report from the MIT Energy Initiative warns that EVs may never reach the same sticker price so long as they rely on lithium-ion batteries, the energy storage technology that powers most of today’s consumer electronics. In fact, the research found it will likely take another decade just to eliminate the difference in the lifetime costs between electric vehicles and gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, even after higher fuel and maintenance expenses of standard cars and trucks are taken into account. Hopefully Governor Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, who want to adopt California regulations mandating the use of electric cars,...

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Help Us Stop Governor Walz From Imposing California’s Car Rules on Minnesota!

In late September, Governor Walz announced that he would seek to impose California's mandates for zero emission vehicles and low emission vehicles on Minnesota. Rather than passing this proposal through the normal legislative process, Governor Walz is trying to impose these rules on Minnesotans by instructing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to draft the mandates forcing our state to comply with regulations drafted by unelected bureaucrats on the California Air Resources Board. Why wouldn't Governor Walz want to go through the legislative process where legislators can weigh the pros and cons of the proposal and vote accordingly? Probably because these regulations...

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MPUC Continues to Address Utility System Reliability: Gas System Shortcomings Addressed, Electric Generation Issues Receive Scant Attention

The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) represents electric utilities that are owned and operated by municipal governments throughout the state of Minnesota. The association publishes a monthly newsletter, and one article highlighting the serious reliability issues presented by last winter's polar vortex was very interesting. I have reproduced the article below and added additional commentary to supplement some of the points made. Minnesota’s electric and natural gas utility systems were stressed last winter, failures occurred, and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) has addressed the issue several times since then, including Oct. 10. The latest meeting revolved around the Xcel Energy gas...

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Wind Power Purchase Agreement Prices Rise 44 Percent in MISO from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019

It looks like the fairy tales of endless declines in the cost of wind power are meeting an unpleasant reality. A recent study has found that the cost of wind power bought through power purchase agreements (PPAs) from independent power producers (IPPs) is increasing in the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator  (MISO) footprint, which includes Minnesota and 13 other states and one Canadian province. According to the report: “In Q3, the MISO market was the primary contributor, with a $4+ rise in prices, amounting to a 19% increase." The graph below is from the report and it shows wind PPA prices increasing from about...

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Our Perspective: Minnesota’s Days of Cheaper Electricity Seem Numbered

This weekend, Mike Hughlett of the Star Tribune wrote an excellent article entitled "Minnesota's Days of Cheaper Electricity Seem Numbered," which details how Minnesota electricity prices have increased substantially in the last 15 years. The piece is an important acknowledgement that the energy policies pursued in Minnesota are causing electricity costs to rise, an argument Center of the American Experiment has been making since late 2017. I have included portions of the article below and added additional  commentary to provide more context to help readers understand the topic in a more comprehensive manner. The article begins below: "Hefty rate hikes that Minnesota’s...

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If Xcel Is Your Electricity Provider, Congrats: You’re Paying The Most Expensive Electricity Rates in Minnesota

The most expensive electricity rates in Minnesota

We have been reporting for some time that electricity rates in Minnesota are now surpassing that of the national average. With this new information, it’s now safe to say that as the largest and most expensive electric utility in the state of Minnesota with the highest rate increases since 1999, Xcel Energy is the prime reason for the loss of the state’s price advantage....

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