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Michael Shellenberger: Why Biden Can Unite America With Nuclear Power — Or Divide It With Renewables

The following article was written by Michael Shellenberger and appeared in Forbes: In his victory speech, President-elect Joe Biden said he would govern as an American, not as a Democrat, and work as hard for people who didn’t vote for him as people who did. And yet, at the top of his agenda, is to spend $2 trillion on climate change, almost entirely on renewables, which Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly oppose. A better approach would be a Green Nuclear Deal. “If Biden wants to unite Americans he should seek legislation to raise nuclear energy from its current 19 percent of electricity to 50 percent by 2050,” argues Madison Czerwinski,...

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Pipeline Opponents Need Better Math

On November 10, 2020 a group of environmental organizations wrote a letter to the Star Tribune stating an expanded Line 3 pipeline would be the carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of building 50 new coal plants in Minnesota. Their math is wrong. Expanding the Line 3 pipeline would increase the volume of oil transported by 370,000 barrels per day, or approximately 135 million barrels per year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states one barrel of oil contains 0.43 metric tons of CO2, and a study in Nature Communications estimates another 0.25 metric tons are emitted for each barrel of Canadian crude produced, for...

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Line 3 Receives Arm Corps of Engineers Permits

The Army Corps of Engineers has issued the final major permit needed for the Line 3 oil pipeline. According to the Star Tribune: "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday issued a construction permit for Enbridge's new pipeline across northern Minnesota, the last major approval needed for the controversial $2.6 billion project. The Corps decision paves the way for Calgary-based Enbridge to begin building the pipeline as early as next month. It will be one of the largest Minnesota construction projects in recent history and is expected to employ 4,000 workers." Receiving this permit puts the Line 3 environmental improvement project one...

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General Motors Recalling All 17-19 Chevy Bolts Due to Fire Risks From Batteries

According to the Detroit Free Press, General Motors is recalling all models year 2017 through 2019 all-electric Chevy Bolts because they may pose a fire risk. The move means recalling all 68,000 all-electric Bolts sold globally, (51,000 in the U.S.) during those model years. This recall is significant because the Chevy Bolt was the most popular non-Tesla all-electric vehicle sold in the United States in 2019, according to CleanTechnica.com. As of right now, the automaker is telling people to reduce the amount of charge customers put in the car's battery to reduce the risk of catching fire because having a fully-charged battery...

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Heating With Electricity Is Much More Expensive Than Natural Gas

Heating your home with natural gas is much less expensive than electricity, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). According to the agency, average winter household costs for natural gas are less than half the cost of using propane, heating oil, or electricity, as you can see in the graph below. The price advantage of natural gas is the reason it is more widely used than other sources of heating fuels in cold areas requiring extensive heating. Electricity is the more prevalent heating source in the Southeast because these areas are warmer than the northern parts of the Midwest. Also,...

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The Power Hungry Podcast: Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg is the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank that “researches the smartest ways to do good.” In this episode, Robert talks to Lomborg about his new book-- False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet – including his views on why climate policies are “often worse than ineffective,” why we need to spend more money on adapting to a changing climate, the prospects for a carbon tax, the need for innovation in nuclear, and yes, why he always wears a black T-shirt. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcw1HODq01A[/embed]...

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Minneapolis Energy Grants Will Raise Energy Prices For Everyone Else

Elected officials in Minneapolis don't seem to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That's why their idea of assisting small businesses hurt or destroyed in the riots this summer is to give out $1.17 million in energy grants aimed at small businesses owned by people of color, immigrants and those affected by this year's civil unrest, according to the Star Tribune. The City Council and the Mayor clearly believe this is the right thing to do, but their faith in the effectiveness of their approach shows they don't really understand how energy prices work in Minnesota,...

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Wind and Solar Developers Don’t Want To Pay Their Own Costs To Connect To The Grid

Despite bold-sounding announcements on decarbonizing America from progressive politicians and profit-seeking, government-approved monopolies, the biggest impediment to a world powered by wind, solar, and batteries is not political opposition from unwashed conservatives, it is reality. This truth was on display in a recent article in RTO Insider, which stated that the transmission upgraded needed to connect new wind and solar facilities to the grid costs too much. The cost is so high that wind and solar developers are abandoning their projects, which is great news for Minnesota families, seniors, and businesses. "MISO West — which includes Minnesota, Iowa, parts of the Dakotas and...

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Line 3 Opponent, Winona LaDuke, Unhinged on Almanac

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency approved permits for the Line 3 oil pipeline operated by Enbridge. As we have noted many times, the current Line 3 is corroded and operating at half capacity to reduce the risk of an oil spill, and replacing this project is the right thing to do for the environment and Minnesota's economy. However, not everyone sees it this way. On Almanac last week, anti-pipeline activist and executive director of Honor the Earth, Winona LaDuke, made several statements that were factually inaccurate and she even called the pipeline the ecological equivalent of...

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Rebutting Regulation: No, Free Market Economics Did Not Win the War On Coal

A recent piece in Regulation titled “Economics Wins the War on Coal” declared the demise of coal was the result of free-market forces, not government regulation and incentives. However, the author clearly does not understand the key issues affecting the electric power industry, today. If he did, he would realize his piece misses most of the picture. There are three main drivers for coal’s decline, and two of them stem directly from government regulation in the electricity sector. The main drivers killing coal are 1) Obama’s war on coal, 2) Profit-seeking at government-approved-monopoly utility companies, and 3) low natural gas prices. Obama’s War...

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