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Wind Subsidies for Xcel Energy’s Minnesota Operations Totaled More Than $49 Million in 2016

According to data found in utility documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy earned $49.3 million in federal subsidies in 2016 from its wind facilities located throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. It's important to remember that the cost of wind energy in Minnesota is not just reflected in your monthly electric bill, but it also increases the amount of federal taxes you must pay. While $49 million is no doubt a significant chuck of change, it likely represents only a small amount of the federal subsidies doled out to wind producers in Minnesota because most of the wind...

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From Colorado: Xcel Energy’s Green Dreams Are a Farce

My friend Amy Cooke from the Independence Institute in Colorado recently wrote the article below about how Xcel energy is seeking to leave Colorado ratepayers on the hook for coal plants they are shutting down decades ahead of schedule. It's the same story I wrote about in Wisconsin, where WE Energies is attempting to make $430 million in profits after retiring a perfectly good coal plant. In Colorado, Xcel wants to close down the Comanche 1 and 2 plants so because it boosts their guaranteed profits by allowing them to build more wind, solar, natural gas, batteries and transmission infrastructure. This...

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A Climate-Change Drubbing in Australia

A recent CNN poll showed that climate change was the number one issue for likely Democratic voters, but this trend runs counter to movements sweeping the globe where policies to support expensive renewable energy resources are facing harsh backlash for increasing energy prices. These movements can be seen in France, Canada, and Australia, where the elections last weekend were a resounding defeat for the political parties pushing for more wind and solar. This trend is common throughout the world. Political support for wind and solar is initially high because people think these sources of electricity are "free" because there is no fuel costs,...

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Batteries Cannot Make Renewables Reliable

This article was written by David Wojick and originally published by a Committee for a Construction Tomorrow (CFACT): Utilities are starting to experiment with adding batteries to wind and solar projects. These storage projects are feeding the mistaken belief that batteries can cure the intermittency that makes wind and solar unworkable as a reliable source of power. The reality is that these battery projects are trivial in size compared to what would actually be needed to make wind or solar reliable. The cost of battery based reliability would actually be stupendous, far more than we could ever afford. Here are some simple numbers...

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How Well Do Electric Vehicles Perform in Our Extreme Weather?

The practicality of electric vehicles is an important issue, especially in a Northern climate. It is well known that cold temperatures impact battery performance, and batteries are the Achilles heel of electric vehicles. The Minneapolis Star Tribune explains some of the problems. Cold weather degrades the performance of electric vehicles, in part because energy must be diverted to warm the interior of the car. The Strip cites a AAA study that found that even relatively moderate cold (by Minnesota standards) has a severe effect on battery performance: A recent study by AAA found that electric vehicle owners can expect their driving range...

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Fresh Energy Is Still Intentionally Misleading Minnesotans on Energy Issues: Part Six – How Decoupling Will Make Things Worse For Ratepayers

If you use less electricity, you should pay less on electric bills. Right?Unfortunately in Minnesota, that’s not the case, as electricity bills have increased by 8 percent even though we consume 10 percent less electricity than we did in 2007, and it will only get worse if “decoupling” becomes standard policy....

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DFL Senator From Iron Range Signals He Won’t Support Carbon-Free Power Mandates At This Time

It's a great day for Minnesota families and businesses, as Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) stated that he believes that provisions of the House Energy and Jobs omnibus bill that would mandate that Minnesota derive 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 should be left out of the current budget negotiations and reconsidered at a later date. What makes this statement so remarkable is that it was completely unprompted. In fact, the discussion previous to his comments about increasing renewable energy mandates were about the Line 3 oil pipeline. After making an initial comment about the pipeline, Senator Simonson...

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North Dakota Has $5 Million War Chest To Sue Minnesota Over Energy Issues

It looks like the State of North Dakota is poised to take Minnesota back out behind the woodshed again (legally speaking) if it enacts legislation that would mandate the use of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, which has been supported by the Walz administration and several DFL members of the House of Representatives this session. According to Senator Pratt, North Dakota has a massive $5 million war chest ready to sue the state of Minnesota once again over emission regulations that would violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution  or violate other federal laws by effectively allowing Minnesota to regulate...

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Fresh Energy Is Still Intentionally Misleading Minnesotans on Energy Issues: Part Four – Why Energy Efficiency Won’t Save You Money

Fresh Energy, a renewable energy advocacy organization, continues to mislead Minnesotan’s on energy issues – and it appears they don’t appreciate our work explaining how wind and solar are driving up the cost of electricity in our state. In their latest critique of American Experiment, Fresh Energy made multiple attempts to inaccurately portray our organization as not understanding how electric rates work, while arguing that wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity in our state and a boon to job creation. Each of these claims is demonstrably false. The article below is the fourth in a series of articles that will...

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