Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Assessing the Fourth “National Assessment” of Climate Change

Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute is brilliant on the climate change issue. If you are interested in this topic and haven't read his book, Lukewarming, I highly suggest you pick it up. Michaels recently wrote a blog about the highly publicized, but little scrutinized Climate Assessment that has been making headlines here in Minnesota. The blog post is below and he provides links to his extensive comments. The 1990 Global Change Research Act requires quadrennial  “Assessments” of the effects of global climate change on the U.S. The first was published in 2000, the second in 2009 (the G.W. Bush Administration chose to...

Continue reading

German Co2 Emissions Remain Stubbornly High

A lot of people I talk to about renewable energy in Minnesota think of Germany as a great example what we should be doing here. Green groups in the U.S. constantly characterize Germany's aggressive attempts to increase the amount of electricity generated by wind and solar as a smashing success, but unfortunately, these accounts fail to tell the whole story. In reality, Germany's "energy transition" has stalled, according to YaleEnvironment360. "Today, the Energiewende finds itself stalled and floundering. Germany’s carbon emissions have stagnated at roughly their 2009 level. The country remains Europe’s largest producer and burner of coal, which generates more than one-third of Germany’s power supply....

Continue reading

Tempering the Alarm About Sea Level Rise

This article was written by Judith Curry, a climate scientist who was formerly a Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. New report on Sea Level Rise and Climate Change challenges the alarming predictions of 21st century sea level rise. “Antarctica meltdown could double sea level rise”. “The planet could become ungovernable”. Such headlines reflect the growing alarm over sea level rise. How worried should energy companies be about sea level rise? There are 287 energy facilities in the U.S. at coastal locations that are within 4 feet of typical high-tide level. More than half of these facilities are...

Continue reading

Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980

The following article originally appeared in Reason. Humanity is enjoying a world of increasingly cheap and ever more abundant mineral, agricultural, forestry and energy resources reports a brilliant new study, the Simon Abundance Index. This analysis by Marian Tupy,* editor of Human Progress at the Cato Institute, and Professor Gale Pooley from Brigham Young University – Hawaii uses data on 50 different commodities to track their price trajectories over the past 37 years from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They find in real price terms their basket of commodities decreased by an average of 36.3 percent between 1980 and 2017. That's great, but their...

Continue reading

No, Xcel’s Pledge to be Carbon-Free by 2050 Does Not Make Good Business Sense

Lee Schafer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an article in the Sunday, December 9th edition of the newspaper stating that Xcel's pledge to generate 100 percent of its electricity from "carbon free" sources by 2050 made good business sense. Unfortunately, Xcel Energy's plan will only make "business sense" for Xcel, companies like Mortenson Construction that are financially invested in the renewable energy industry, Xcel's shareholders, and non-government organizations like Fresh Energy that promote renewable energy sources like wind and solar despite their high cost and low reliability. ...

Continue reading

Higher Than Expected Natural Gas Prices Highlight Importance of Coal-Fired Power Plants

Generating electricity with natural gas is far more expensive than generating electricity with coal at current gas prices. In fact, natural gas prices must remain below $2.92/mmbtu at a combined cycle natural gas plant, and below $2.24 at combustion turbine plants for consumers to save money on fuel costs relative to coal....

Continue reading

If Efficiency Is No Longer Cost Effective, We Shouldn’t Subsidize It

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a study on Tuesday saying that electric and natural gas utilities could continue to meet their current efficiency mandates, but that it will become more expensive to do so over time. Under the Next Generation Energy Act, passed in 2007, electric utilities are mandated to reduce their electricity sales by 1.5 percent annually. Electric utilities have reached this goal, but according to the Commerce report, the days of easy, low-cost energy savings are nearing the end. In order to keep up the energy savings, utilities will have to pay higher "incentives" and subsidies to get consumers...

Continue reading

Macron Blinks in Fuel-Tax Dispute With Yellow Vests

This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal: PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron suffered the first major setback in his push to overhaul the French economy, backing off a fuel-tax increase that enraged much of the nation and sparked a grass-roots protest movement against his government. Faced with another weekend of destructive protests by the gilets jaunes—or yellow vests—Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told a press conference on Tuesday that the tax increase would be pushed back six months to allow for public discussion. The worst riots to hit Paris in decades erupted during antigovernment protests on Saturday, leaving the city’s shopping and tourist center dotted with...

Continue reading