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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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Republicans Who Favored Renewable Energy Got Clobbered in the Midterms

Moderate Republican candidates seem to think they can use energy and environmental issues as a bargaining chip to placate the electorate into giving them their vote, whether that is supporting stupid forms of energy like wind and solar, or opposing natural resource development like mining, but history shows this is a losing strategy....

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Fracking, Not Renewables, Is the True Energy Revolution of Our Time

Fracking shows what a technological disruption in the energy truly looks like, a rapid adoption of new technology that lowers prices for consumers regardless of the hurdles placed in front of it by governments and attempts to squash it by vested players in established industries like OPEC.  Fracking also shows us what technological disruptions don't look like, and wind and solar fit this bill. Despite decades of subsidies and tens of billions of squandered taxpayer dollars, and state laws requiring their use, these sources of energy simply cannot compete in terms of reliability or affordability of fossil fuels. ...

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As Blue Wave Fizzles to Purple Haze, There Are Reasons for Optimism Amid Midterm Results

It turns out there was no blue wave or red wave, and the purple haze that settled over the country in the wake of the midterm elections gives me reasons for optimism moving forward regarding energy and environmental policy in the coming years. 1.Senate gains could mean we will finally end the handouts for wind and solar: As you may know, wind and solar are huge recipients of federal tax subsidies, and these subsidies are the main reason why anyone invests in wind or solar. Fortunately, last night's results maybe these subsidies may finally go the way of the dodo bird. The wind...

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