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Problems with Metro Transit Electric Buses Show the Technology Isn’t Ready for Primetime

Last week the Star Tribune ran an article entitled "Metro Transit Temporarily Pulls Electric Buses from C Line Because of Problems with Chargers," stating the eight electric buses on the newly-formed C Line would be taken out of service until defects with the charging mechanisms could be fixed. Diesel-powered buses will continue service on the line. According to the article: "The 60-foot electric buses, manufactured by New Flyer of America in St. Cloud, were supposed to charge overnight and then stop for a quick 12-minute charge at the Brooklyn Center Transit Center while in operation. But issues surfaced with the electric fleet’s...

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Sunday Funnies: Tesla Police Car Runs Out of Battery During High Speed Chase

A Tesla Model S, purchased used for $61,000 by Fremont, California ran out of juice last week while in a high speed chase and had to abandon the persuit to find a charging station. The suspect was not apprehended. According to ExtremeTech: Here’s what happened: Sept. 20, the Tesla was on patrol. It began pursuit of what police described as a “felony vehicle,” a Toyota Avalon, on Interstate 680 South in Fremont. The chased reached peak speeds of 120 mph. Several minutes into the chase, officer Jess Hartman noticed the Tesla was low on power. He radioed the dispatcher and said, “I...

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California Forced to Subsidize Natural Gas Plants to Prevent Widespread Blackouts

Wind and solar are often touted as a way of reducing our electricity bills, and our dependence on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. However, the experience of California shows that these talking points are flat out wrong. There is no question that California has some of the most aggressive mandates for renewable energy production in the country. The state recently adopted a 100 percent "clean" energy mandate b 2045, with 60 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030. A new law requires all new houses built in the Golden State to have solar panels on...

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Another One Bites the Dust: Federal Judge Rejects Challenges to PolyMet Land Swap

Excellent news, as yet another lawsuit designed to delay the PolyMet mining project has been struck down in federal court. According to CBS: A federal judge has rejected challenges by several environmental groups to a land swap needed for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen dismissed the four challenges late Monday. She ruled that the groups lacked the necessary legal standing to block the land exchange between PolyMet and the federal government. She said that’s because PolyMet had not yet secured all the necessary permits to begin work, so the groups couldn’t establish that they’d been harmed. PolyMet...

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As $7,500 Federal Subsidies Expire, Electric Vehicles Are About to Get More Expensive

You may not have known this, but the federal government has been subsidizing electric vehicles (EV's) to the tune of a $7,500 tax credit for every electric vehicle sold. In fact, the subsidy is a major reason why we're starting to see more Tesla's tooling around the Twin Cities, but there's a catch: the subsidy begins to disappear after a manufacturer has sold 200,000 units, and Tesla has hit this threshold, meaning the growth of Elon's EV's could slow moving forward. The phase out of the tax credits comes at a bad time for Tesla, after the EV automaker announced it would...

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Three Must-Know Facts About Governor Walz’s Plan to Impose California Car Mandates on Minnesota

On Wednesday, Governor Walz announced that he would be using the bureaucratic rule making process to impose California’s rules for low and zero emissions vehicles (LEV and ZEV) on to Minnesota car buyers. While the Governor has tried to frame this as a win for consumer choice, Minnesota families, and the environment, the facts suggest that the Governor's proposed regulations are solution in search of a problem. Three facts you need to know about this proposal are: This is not about expanding consumer choice. It will mandate the sale of smaller, lighter cars that are not as safe as bigger, heavier...

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If Governor Walz Had “Followed The Science,” We Would Have Started Building Line 3 Already

Last week's decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court to deny a round of appeals attempting to further delay the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline was a rare win for energy sanity in the state of Minnesota, and a major loss for the anti-pipeline activists. According to the Duluth News Tribune: "The Supreme Court's decision not to review the opinion sends the crude oil pipeline's environmental impact statement back to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and shrinks what could've been an extended delay if members had agreed to hear the appeals. Public Utilities Commission Chair Katie Sieben in a news release said...

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