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BREAKING NEWS: Twin Metals Minnesota Proposes Most Technologically Advanced Mine in Minnesota History

The future of mining in Minnesota looks even brighter today as Twin Metals Minnesota announced they will protect Minnesota’s water resources at their planned copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota by using a method called dry stack tailings storage, which is often touted by environmental groups as the best way to store waste rock left over from the mining process. This technology eliminates the storage ponds and dams associated with conventional tailings facilities and it has been successfully used in four mines in the northern United States and Canada with similar climates to Minnesota and has been permitted at two mines in...

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Rebuking Renewables: Le Sueur County Places Moratorium on Solar Gardens and Solar Farms

It looks like the Community Solar Gardens aren't very popular with the locals  in Le Sueur County. Earlier in July, the Planning and Zone commission voted to enact a moratorium, or temporary suspension, on new solar facilities. The moratorium, which will ban applications for new solar projects for one year, comes at a time when solar facilities are being cited closer to city limits and residential properties. According to KEYC in Mankato: “Separation distances from residential properties is one thing that people are very concerned about. They don’t want to have these panels 50 feet from their house, and by taking this...

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Sierra Club: Stop Obsessing About Recycling

The Sierra Club recently published an article that will surely make waves. The crux of the argument is that recycling doesn't always make sense, and often times it is better for the environment to throw items in a landfill than it is to recycle them. Rather than maximizing recycling, we should be optimizing it, recycling items that make economic and ecological sense and landfilling items that don't. It's almost as if we should allow private companies and businesses, operating in a market, to decide which materials should be repurposed for other uses, rather than having government-run recycling initiatives that are not responsive...

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They Thought Battery Storage Would Be Cost Competitive With Natural Gas By 2014: 6 Years Later It’s Still Not True

In 2013, Steve Hellman, president of the battery storage company, Eos Energy, made a startling prediction about the cost of the company's then-new zinc-air battery system. The following is from Green Tech Media more than six years ago: The cost of battery storage is falling more rapidly than most analysts forecasted and could be competitive with gas-fired generation -- even in the U.S., where gas prices are low -- within the next eighteen months. That’s the prediction of Steve Hellman, the president of battery storage startup Eos Energy Storage, which intends to launch its zinc-air battery next year with a price of $200...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 3: Would You Rather Mine in Venezuela? I Didn’t Think So

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. While anti-mining activists say they don't want mining in Minnesota, what they are really saying, if they are not willing to forego the items made with these metals and minerals, is that they want mining, they just don't want it here. But if not here, where? I often write about the state of the cobalt industry, where 40,000 children have...

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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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