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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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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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Exclusive: Tesla Expects Global Shortage of Electric Vehicle Battery Minerals – Sources

It never ceases to amaze me how special interest groups who push for more renewable energy also oppose mining for copper, nickel, and cobalt in Minnesota. These sources of energy require enormous amounts of materials, but where will they come from if not Minnesota? Countries with few, if any, protections for the environment or miners. Some "environmental justice," eh? The following article originally appeared in Reuters:  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tesla Inc expects global shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to underinvestment in the mining sector, the company’s global supply manager for battery metals told an industry conference...

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Kenwood Resident Makes Impassioned Plea to Reroute Unsafe SWLRT and Save Urban Oasis

If we want to build for the masses and reduce human impact, why are we destroying environment and sticking mass transit where there aren’t many masses? Why are we encouraging suburban sprawl? One commented on how the line will encourage population density along the route. Where? Do we plan to tear down single-family homes erect apartment buildings in all single-family neighborhoods? Place a Starbucks or Wal-Mart along the lakes? Where do we draw the line? Is this line supposed to serve the interest of builders who look at greenspace and see cash? Must we pave over whatever we can find?...

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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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