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State Pollution Agency Throws Cold Water on Summer Fun

Summer time and the living isn't easy, at least not in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's world. The latest edition of the state agency's "Living Green 365" newsletter warns that ordinary summer activities many Minnesotans have enjoyed all their lives are actually bad for the environment. These festivals and fairs are valuable and fun experiences, but can have a significant environmental impact, from the transportation it takes to get there, the amount of waste festivals produce, the energy it takes to power the festivals, and much more. The good news from our state pollution controllers is that you can take steps to...

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Should EV Charging Stations Be Regulated as Utilities? Kentucky Joins Majority to Say ‘No,’ Minnesota Should Too

Last week, Kentucky regulators ruled that electric vehicle charging stations were not considered utilities under state law, according to Utility Dive. In doing so, Kentucky joins Iowa, Vermont and California in determining that chargers do not provide a public service in the same way that other electric services do. This makes sense, because owning an electric car is a luxury item. The graph below from the Energy Information Administration shows most electric car owners make more than $100,000. Not surprisingly, most of the household that own electric cars also have a regular car. Therefore, the argument that electric car chargers are a vital public...

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Mortenson Construction to Use Robotic Equipment On “Primarily Renewable Energy Projects”

Mortenson Construction is one of the largest renewable-energy construction firms in the country, but it appears the firm will be dolling out less "green" to their laborers. A recent story in the Star Tribune discusses how Mortenson will be employing remote-controlled bulldozers to prepare sites for wind turbines instead of hiring laborers to man the machines. The remote-controlled bulldozers will be first be employed on remote projects in Wyoming where worker housing and other logistical difficulties make automation  economically attractive, but there's no reason to think it would be impossible for the company to begin using automated equipment in other areas...

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American Experiment Opposes the Carbon Tax Scam

Last week, 75 conservative organizations signed a public letter to Congress opposing “any carbon tax” days after reports that Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney openly considered backing carbon tax bill, and American Experiment was one of them. The letter, circulated by Americans for Tax Reform, read: "We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost...

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In the Tank (EP195) – “Luxury Communism.” News in The Digital Age, Deepfakes

Heartland's Donald Kendal, and Justin Haskins are joined by Isaac Orr and Jim Lakely in episode #195 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. Featured in today's podcast is work from The Heartland Institute, the RAND Corporation, Reason Foundation, and the Brookings Institution. https://soundcloud.com/user-694711047/in-the-tank-ep195-luxury-communism-news-in-the-digital-age-deepfakes...

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New Study Finds Wind and Solar Are Still More Expensive Than Existing, Even Brand New, Fuel-Based Generators

A new study published by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) concluded that building new wind and solar farms is up to 120 percent more expensive per megawatt hour of production than existing resources, like natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric generators, shown in the chart below. These findings suggest that Minnesota utility companies, lawmakers, and renewable energy advocacy groups have been falsely implying that by building new wind and solar facilities in the state, electricity costs would be reduced. Instead, due to the irresponsible renewable energy policies and mandates that have taken hold in Minnesota, what we have seen is...

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China is Building 89 Shercos in the Coming Years

Yesterday I posted about how India is building a lot of coal-fired power plants. These power plants would have a generation capability equal to building the Sherburne County (Sherco) coal-fired power plant, Minnesota's largest electricity generator, 42 times. It turns out that China, not to be outdone, is going to build the equivalent of 89 Shercos to provide affordable, around-the-clock energy for millions of people. This is good news for Chinese citizens, who use 63 percent less electricity, on a per-capita basis, than people living in the United States, but it could mean bad news for energy intensive industries like mining and...

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Global CO2 Emissions To Skyrocket As India Plans To Build 42 Shercos in the Coming Years

During the legislative session, we heard Governor Walz, House DFL members, and liberal environmentalists call climate change an "existential crisis," several times (give or take a million). This so-called crisis was used as justification for trying to pass radical Green New Deal-style legislation in Minnesota in an attempt to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Absent from these discussions, however, was any context for global carbon dioxide emissions and the impact they will have on future temperatures. This seems like a massive oversight. It's called global warming, after all. The most likely reason this discussion never occurred is because it would undermine the Governor's case...

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