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GreenStep Cities Program Rebuffed Again in Plymouth

In a surprising move back in June, the Plymouth City Council stood up to staff and rejected a recommendation to adopt the controversial GreenStep Cities environmental program run by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. At the time American Experiment wrote about several alert citizens who notified their elected officials of the threat posed by the program just in the nick of time. A funny thing happened on the way to the Twin Cities suburb becoming the latest domino in the  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s “voluntary” plan to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint and make environmental sustainability the linchpin of city policy-making. City Hall...

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Xcel Energy Sponsors Gala for Anti-Mining, Anti-Farming, Pro-Wind and Solar Green Group To Help Them Pad Their Profits

Minnesota families saw their electricity bills reach a new all-time high in 2018 due to an increasing reliance on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power. Despite the fact that Minnesota is already on track to meet current renewable energy mandates, Xcel Energy wants exceed these regulations by building 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, a massive amount, and shutting down their existing coal plants, which produce some of the lowest cost electricity in the state. It appears Xcel is enlisting the help of the Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to help gain public approval for this plan by...

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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Dear Governor Walz, Please Don’t Turn Minnesota Into California

When it comes to energy policy, California should be an example of what not to do. Unfortunately, Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, seems intent on following many of the same mistakes that have been made in the Golden State. Among these mistakes is his attempt to mandate the use of more wind and solar on the electric grid, attempting to raise the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon in an effort to get people to drive less or purchase smaller cars, and trying to use the bureaucratic rule-making process to force Minnesota to comply with California Car Zero (ZEV) Emission Vehicle and Low...

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Fudging The Numbers: Why Wind and Solar Cost Estimates from Bloomberg New Energy Finance are Almost Certainly Wrong

In March of 2019, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released a public “fact sheet” alleging the cost of electricity generated by wind and solar in Minnesota had reached new record lows, but there is a problem; BNEF refuses to share the assumptions and methodology used to calculate their cost estimates with the public. This begs the question, what are they hiding? Probably a lot. BNEF estimated the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind and solar to be $38 and $60 per megawatt hour, respectively. In contrast, a study by Center of the American Experiment found the cost of new, unsubsidized...

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Does Popularity of Mountain Biking in Duluth Come at Expense of Environment?

Mountain biking continues to grow in popularity statewide. Duluth, one of the hot spots, markets the city as a national destination with nearly 100 miles of available trails. A designated "gold level" ride center, the city draws some 60,000 or more mountain bikers annually, according to WDIO-TV. "That's a designation from the International Mountain Biking Association," City of Duluth Parks and Recreation Trails Coordinator Matt Andrews said. "There is only a handful of those in the country, and we happen to be one of those gold level ride centers right here in Duluth." But a recent report by John Ramos in the Duluth...

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Why Are Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Sponsoring Minnesota Anti-Mining Legislation?

Mainstream news outlets in Minnesota rarely tell the tale of how the Obama Administration incorrectly broke decades of protocol by cancelling mineral leases of Twin Metals Minnesota and sought a 20 year moratorium on mineral exploration in the Superior National Forest during his lame duck session. The inappropriate actions of the Obama Administration were reversed  by President Trump, but unfortunately, Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are supporting an action that would force the National Forest Service to prevent any action that would advance mining in this area, according to documents obtained by Mining Minnesota, pictured below. While Senator Smith's position...

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City Journal: Battery Derangement

Governor Walz wants to impose California's low and zero emission vehicle (LEV and ZEV) regulations on Minnesotans through the bureaucratic rule making process. These rules would require car manufacturers to meet quotas for electric vehicle sales in order to sell gasoline and diesel powered cars in the state, essentially holding Minnesota's car market hostage until they sell enough money-losing cars. Luckily, the Trump Administration is seeking to revoke of California's ability to set their own emission standards for vehicles, which will make the Governor's attempt to impose west-coast mandates on Midwestern families moot. Electric vehicles are often touted as the future of...

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