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Pro-mining DFL senator ousted in August 11 primary

Pro-mining DLFers in Minnesota lost an ally yesterday, as State Senator Erik Simonson lost his primary race to anti-mining political newcomer, Jen McEwen. The results of this primary, along with the replacement of Senator Tom Bakk with Susan Kent as the DFL minority leader, clearly show that the party is moving further away from its roots in rural farming and labor issues, toward favoring urban environmentalists. According to the Duluth News Tribune: The debate over whether copper-nickel sulfide deposits should be mined in the Northland has loomed large in the campaign. "I've tried to come at this from a practical, common-sense standpoint and...

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How Much Metal Would A Minnesota Green New Deal Require? Part Two

Last week I wrote about how converting Minnesota's electrical grid to a combination of nearly 100 percent wind, solar, and battery storage would consume enormous quantities of copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and steel. While that analysis determined that huge amounts of these metals would be needed for "green" electricity, it is important to remember that electricity is only part of the energy equation, and if we wanted to completely get rid of fossil fuel from our energy economy, it would require much more metal. The pie chart below was created using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As you can see,...

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Biden Announces Opposition to Alaskan Pebble Mine, What Does it Mean for Minnesota?

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has declared his opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, which would mine copper, molybdenum, gold, and critical rare earths elements. Biden announced his administration would stop the mine, according to the Anchorage Daily News.  Biden's announcement is bad news for Minnesotans who support copper-nickel mining in Northern Minnesota, because like the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, the Obama Administration preemptively struck down the Pebble Mine without a fair, scientific review. Biden claims that the Obama administration's decision to preempt the Pebble Mine was based on science, but this could not possibly be true. Rather than...

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Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

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Illegal Mining Threatens Gorillas in the Congo

In November of 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an opinion piece by the Strib Editorial Board "Not This Mine, Not This Location." The piece sought to lay out why Twin Metals Minnesota should not be allowed to develop the large deposits of copper, nickel, and cobalt because the proposed underground mine would be in the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is simply so special that we must not try to manage the environmental risks of mining, we should reject them altogether. Whether the editorial board realizes it or not, their position is the epitome of...

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Xcel Energy CEO, Ben Fowke, Was the 4th Highest Paid CEO in Minnesota in 2019

Xcel Energy CEO, Ben Fowke, was the fourth-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2019, making $23.3 million in total compensation, according to an analysis in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. As proponents of free market principles, Center of the American Experiment does not take issue with CEO compensation at private companies, but as we have discussed many times before, Xcel Energy is not a private company. Private companies must compete for your business. If you don't like their product or their price, you are free to choose another provider. But Xcel Energy is a government approved monopoly, not a private company, and their "customers" are...

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How much metal would a Minnesota Green New Deal require?

There is an interesting paradox among liberal environmentalists. One the one hand, they want a Minnesota Green New Deal where all the electricity in the state is provided by a combination of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage. On the other hand, they oppose mining for copper, nickel, cobalt, and other metals needed to build these energy sources, even though Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped reserves of these metals in the world. Today, we'll conduct a rough estimate of how much metal would be needed to be completely reliant on wind, solar, and battery storage for electricity generation. Assumptions It's important...

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Minnesota Center For Energy and Environment thinks governments “have room” to raise taxes in communities losing coal plants

Energy policy in Minnesota is a mess. Liberal politicians, profit-seeking, government-approved monopoly utilities like Xcel Energy, and environmental groups are pushing for the closure of Minnesota's reliable coal-fired power plants, which produce some of the most affordable electricity in the state, decades before the end of their useful lifetimes. Their "solution," is to replace the coal plants with unreliable sources of electricity, like wind and solar power. Losing Minnesota's existing coal plants is bad for the entire state because our economy needs affordable energy to compete with companies abroad. But the loss of coal-fired power plants is felt even more in the...

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Global wind turbine fleet to consume over 5.5 million tons of copper by 2028

Fans of renewable energy are often against copper-nickel mining in Minnesota, even though Minnesota contains some of the largest undeveloped copper-nickel deposits in the world, and massive quantities of both of these metals are needed for wind turbines. A new analysis by Wood Mackenzie estimates how much copper would be needed over the next eight years to build wind turbines. Relying on wind power is still a bad idea due to its high cost and low reliability, but those who do advocate for building more wind turbines should be forced to acknowledge the inherent contradiction of their pro-wind/anti-mining position. The following article...

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Michael Shellenberger Triggers House Democrats By Speaking the Truth About Wind and Solar

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Micheal Shellenberger, a man who has spent thirty years of his life as an environmental activist, testified in front of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. He was invited to testify because in 2009, he championed the renewable energy policies of the Obama administration, but since that time Mr. Shellenberger has realized that wind and solar cannot power our society for purely physical reasons. I'd encourage you to watch his testimony in the video below, and read his account of the testimony, which I have copied below. https://youtu.be/P-zuaH2Jkmc?t=1625 Mr. Shellenberger wrote the following piece describing his...

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