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In the Tank Ep 193, ICCC13, Automation, and THE FUTURE

Before getting to the content, Donald talks about the future portrayed in the blockbuster movie Ready Player One. In this depiction of the future, trailers are stacked five or six high. It is yet another example of the pessimistic view of the society in the future. The group contrasts this dreary outlook with the reality that prosperity and the quality of life on the planet is getting better. In the first real segment of the show, Jim talks about The Heartland Institute's upcoming 13th International Conference on Climate Change. In addition to the information about the conference, the group talks about the...

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Senator Osmek Unloaded on House DFL Energy Proposals, and It Was Glorious

Senator David Osmek (R-Mound), who is the head of the Minnesota Senate energy committee, recently unloaded on the incredibly bad proposals brought forth by the DFL-led House of Representatives, and it was glorious. Soon after the video starts, Senator Osmek calls the energy section an abomination and an absolute failure. The video gives us a glimpse into the negotiations that occurred as the House and Senate attempted to reconcile the differences between their energy priorities. Throughout the negotiation process, both the House and Senate had the opportunity name legislation that would be a "non-starter" to be taken out, but it turns out...

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Xcel’s Plan to Close Coal Plants Early Is Bad News for Minnesota Families and Businesses

Last week, Xcel Energy announced their desire to shutter the last of their coal-fired power plants a decade earlier than previously planned. If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the plan would increase electricity costs for Minnesota families and businesses and produce zero measurable reductions in global temperatures. It would, however, result in handsome corporate profits for Xcel Energy, which would be a direct wealth transfer from everyday Minnesotans, who are forced by the government to buy their electricity from Xcel, to the company's shareholders. Minnesota's coal plants provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the state. The graph below...

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Fears Over Nuclear Energy Are Overblown

Climate change activists have an identity problem – they simply don’t know what they want. On one hand, they cry out for the need for a radical transformation in the electricity markets that would witness the transition away from coal and natural gas electricity generation forever. But with the other hand, they attempt to blind the public with fear concerning the only energy source capable of bringing this transition to life: nuclear. Nuclear energy has long been side-stepped as a viable alternative to CO2-emitting electricity generators like natural gas and coal, as renewable energy sources like wind and solar have become the champion...

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In The Tank (ep192) – “Debanking” Conservatives, Socialism, Sanders “Berns” Charter Schools

Heartland's Donald Kendal, and Justin Haskins are joined by Jim Lakely in episode #192 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today's episode features work from Gallup, the National Center for Public Policy Research, and the National Review Institute. In the first segment, Donald and Jim talk about HBO's Chernobyl and how it takes jabs at the Soviet Union. However, Jim laments the fact that some younger viewers fail to...

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If Renewable Energy Saves Consumers Money, Then Explain These Trends Showing the Opposite

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota often think that by using wind and solar energy over existing and fully depreciated coal power plants, electricity consumers will save money on their electric bills. They fail to understand that building wind and solar energy sources, or purchasing their power from independent power providers through contracts, increases utility spending and the revenue that utilities must recover through ratepayers, thus raising the cost of electricity. Despite numerous utility and state records explaining this in detail, renewable energy advocates who believe investing in renewable energy saves consumers money only need to look at this hearing regarding Xcel Energy’s...

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Wind Subsidies for Xcel Energy’s Minnesota Operations Totaled More Than $49 Million in 2016

According to data found in utility documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy earned $49.3 million in federal subsidies in 2016 from its wind facilities located throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. It's important to remember that the cost of wind energy in Minnesota is not just reflected in your monthly electric bill, but it also increases the amount of federal taxes you must pay. While $49 million is no doubt a significant chuck of change, it likely represents only a small amount of the federal subsidies doled out to wind producers in Minnesota because most of the wind...

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From Colorado: Xcel Energy’s Green Dreams Are a Farce

My friend Amy Cooke from the Independence Institute in Colorado recently wrote the article below about how Xcel energy is seeking to leave Colorado ratepayers on the hook for coal plants they are shutting down decades ahead of schedule. It's the same story I wrote about in Wisconsin, where WE Energies is attempting to make $430 million in profits after retiring a perfectly good coal plant. In Colorado, Xcel wants to close down the Comanche 1 and 2 plants so because it boosts their guaranteed profits by allowing them to build more wind, solar, natural gas, batteries and transmission infrastructure. This...

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