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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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Duluth News Tribune: In Response: Judging Twin Metals Now is Premature, Purely Speculative

Last weekend the Duluth News Tribune ran an editorial from Dean DeBeltz of Twin Metals which argued that anti-mining groups who say Twin Metals cannot operate responsibly are basing these claims on speculation and not science. He could not be more correct. Twin Metals has yet to submit a mining plan, which means anyone who opposes the mine now is not objecting to any potential technical shortcoming in the design of the project, but rather they are opposed to mining in general, and are projecting this opposition onto the Twin Metals project. Unfortunately, this is par for the course. Anti-mining groups like Friends...

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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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Great News! PolyMet Wins First Round of Court Challenges!

Minnesota is one step closer to opening its first copper-nickel mine, as the State Court of Appeals has rejected a lawsuit from anti-mining groups who had hoped to force PolyMet to conduct a new environmental review. This suit is the first of several court challenges that are making their way through the courts. The PolyMet project would bring a massive boost to the economy of Northeastern Minnesota. The company expects to create 360 direct jobs in mining and for business professionals ranging from engineers, mechanics, shovel operators, accountants, technicians and information technology specialists, and 600 more jobs will be supported by...

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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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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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