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2019 Legislative Recap

Center of the American Experiment pushed back against far-left policies like the 100% green energy mandate, 70% gas tax hike, and 9% increase in the state budget. Conservative legislators stopped the most radical ideas, but conceded a 6% budget increase. In a surprise victory, a middle-class income tax cut was also passed....

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Pollution Control Equipment Has Greatly Reduced Emissions at Minnesota’s Clean, Beautiful Coal Plants

Some renewable energy advocacy groups claim that Minnesota should aspire to have cheaper and cleaner electricity by using more wind and solar. Of course, this logic makes no sense because wind and solar increase the cost of electricity in Minnesota, but it is worth looking at whether coal-fired power, which is among the most affordable ways to generate electricity in Minnesota, is actually dirty. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, it isn't. When most people think of coal, they probably think of the smog-filled skies of 1950's Pittsburgh or scenes from modern-day Beijing, but advanced pollution control technology at coal-fired...

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Electric Bills in Minnesota Reach Record Highs in 2018

According to new information provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), monthly residential electric bills in Minnesota reached record highs in 2018, exceeding $103 per month for the first time. This is an increase of more than 26 percent, in inflation-adjusted dollars, since 2004, before the first utility in the state (Xcel Energy) was mandated to include renewable energy into its portfolio in 2005....

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Appeals Court Ruling Will Delay Line 3 Replacement, Again

On Monday the Minnesota Court of Appeals stated an environmental review of Enbridge’s controversial Line 3 oil pipeline was “inadequate” because it did not consider the effects of an oil spill in Lake Superior’s watershed, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The ruling is the latest delay in replacing aging oil pipeline, which is operating at half of its potential capacity due to safety concerns. The ruling is bizarre because new pipelines, like new cars, are much safer than their older counterparts. In fact, according to data from the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), since 2010 there have been 1,300...

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Sam Rockwell is Incorrect on Cars, Climate

Sam Rockwell, who is the President of the Minneapolis Planning Commission, recently wrote an oped in the Star Tribune entitled "To Save the Planet, We Have To Get Over Cars," where he espoused his vision for a future where we must give up our cars and drastically reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled in order to save the planet. Fortunately, I firmly believe Mr. Rockwell's vision of the future is one which few others will find desirable. Mr. Rockwell's article was actually a response to another article, which advocated for more Minnesotans to switch to electric cars. I think this is...

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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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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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