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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 2: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about air quality in the United States, versus some other countries that have adopted more command and control economic systems. Russia/Soviet Union If command and control economies are cleaner because capitalism incentivizes pollution, then we should be able to look at examples of countries that were less capitalistic, or even hostile to capitalism, and see...

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Indiana Utility Regulators Deny New Natural Gas Facility To Replace Coal: The Reason Why May Surprise You

This is a great testament to the importance of reading past a headline. Upon first glance at this article from The Associated Press, “Indiana regulators reject Vectren plan for gas power plant,” I cringed. Vectren South, a small utility company in Indiana, sought a new 850 megawatt (MW), $781 million gas plant in preparation for environmental policies that, the utility says, will eventually force the closure of its coal plants. “Here we go again,” I thought. “Another utility board that thinks intermittent renewable energy is capable of replacing coal generation.” However, after further reading of the article and the document in which the new...

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Like It Or Not, You’re Paying $2.6 Million For Brooklyn Park’s Solar Panels

Brooklyn Park made headlines earlier this week after announcing the completion of their 6,000 solar panel project. The City claims they will now operate on 100 percent "clean energy," even though this is patently false. Furthermore, their mayor, Jeff Lunde, even bragged that the City paid nothing for the solar panels. Of course, all that means is that you are paying the $2.6 million price tag for Brooklyn Park's new solar panels, whether you like it or not. 100 Percent Renewable is 100 Percent Baloney Although the media is claiming the solar installation will make Brooklyn Park 100 percent renewable, it actually won't.  As...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 1: Wealth Makes Health, Eventually

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about a phenomenon which is often referred to as the Environmental Kuznets Curve. The theory behind this idea can be summed up in these three steps: 1. When an economy is primarily pre-industrial and agrarian, the environment is usually clean and untouched by pollutants from industrial economic activities. 2. As the economy shifts towards development and...

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Plymouth Steps Back From Controversial GreenStep City Program

It was supposed to be a done deal. The resolution to make Plymouth Minnesota’s newest "GreenStep City" was slipped into the city council’s consent agenda, clearing the way for expected approval by voice vote without discussion, along with no-brainer items like a temporary liquor license for the Lions “Live at the Hilde” event and minutes from the previous meeting. After all, the staff pitched it as a free, feel-good "continuous improvement framework" for the thriving suburb. The City will claim credit for having implemented and will work at its own pace toward implementing GreenStep best practices that will result in energy use...

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Flanagan and Senjem To View The German Energy Failure Firsthand

Tomorrow, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and State Senator Dave Senjem, along with several other members of a Minnesota delegation including Jessica Hellman, Steve Kelley, and members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission head to Germany for a weeklong visit that will include an  energy seminar. I wrote about this last week but it bears repeating: Germany energy policy is a failure by every objective metric and we should not copy their bad policies here. Today I'm posting a blog post that highlights these failures in a new way. Many advocates of renewable energy point to Germany as the example of how to...

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IAEA Discusses The Potential Of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Several member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Pitesti, Romania in late June to discuss the future of green energy and ways to achieve CO2 emission reductions. Their discussion – which included 46 participants from 14 member states – focused primarily on small modular reactors (SMRs). SMRs are nuclear power generators, only far smaller in comparison to traditional nuclear facilities found throughout the world as they generally have a maximum output of 300 megawatts (for comparison, the Monticello nuclear facility in Minnesota is 671 megawatts). The below article was originally published by IAEA on July 8 and details...

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My Trip To the White House

Yesterday I made my first ever trip to the White House to hear President Trump talk about the great progress the United States has made on making sure we have clean air and clean drinking water. This point is incredibly important to make because most Americans seem to think that the environment is always getting worse, when if fact just the opposite is true. The environment in the United States has been improving for decades. https://youtu.be/4XrHi1ldxso?t=2048 President Trump mostly stayed on script, letting several cabinet secretaries talk about the achievements that have been made since the President took office. Despite claims that the...

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Isaac Invited to the White House for Trump Speech on the Environment

Hello, All! I won't be in the office today because I've been invited to attend a speech at the White House by President Trump highlighting the fact that America's air and water are cleaner today than they have been at any other time during the last 50 years. The same is true of Minnesota, where Minnesota Pollution Control Agency data show Minnesota meets even the most rigorous air quality standards in the state. In fact, burning wood for home heating and backyard campfires are now the largest contributors to particulate matter in the air. I've been in contact with White House staff members...

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