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Great News: MN Supreme Court Deals Blow to Anti-Mining Groups’ Hopes of Delaying PolyMet

Last week the Minnesota Supreme Court delivered a major blow to anti-mining groups by declining an appeal to its unanimous May decision that an additional environmental review of the contentious PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes is not needed, according to a PolyMet news release. This is great news for Northeastern Minnesota because environmentally responsible non-ferrous mining promises to be a major engine to the region's economy, if the anti-mining crowd doesn't stop it. The lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to reconsider it's decision was brought by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, both...

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Solar Power is Increasing Pollution in North Carolina, According to Utility Data

Wind and solar are often touted as "clean" sources of energy, but the evidence showing that this simply isn't true is mounting. From large landfills used to dispose of the (non-recyclable) blades of wind turbines, to toxic chemicals used to make solar panels, to fears about wind companies abandoning their wind turbines after they are no longer useful, the "green" veneer is fading. Now, it appears there is hard data clearly demonstrating that solar power is contributing to higher levels of air pollution in North Carolina, which has the second-most solar of any state in the country. This probably sounds counter-intuitive at...

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Minnesota Wind Generated More Electricity Than Coal in April 2019, But That’s Not Really Relevant

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota will probably celebrate the fact that wind power produced more electricity than coal-fired power plants in April of this year (if they haven't already). This is true, as you can see in the graph below, but it is also irrelevant. When this phenomenon is viewed in the context of electricity demand, as well as supply, it paints a very different picture. The graph below shows total electricity generation in Minnesota, along with the generation from coal and wind, dating back to January of 2018. Coal generation fell in April of 2018 and 2019 because April is one...

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The War On Meat Has Begun: Join the Resistance

I'm at the opening day of the state fair today, so I'm posting this great article from Matt Ridley that was originally published in The Telegraph on August 11, 2019. The BBC, misreporting a United Nations report, wants us to switch to a mostly plant-based diet in order to alter the weather. Would it work? No. A recent “meta-analysis” of all the peer-reviewed papers on this topic found that if the average westerner gave up meat altogether it would cut her total emissions by just 4.3 per cent. This is because food is only a modest part of our emissions. And since...

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Alliant Energy to Close Iowa Nuclear Plant for More Wind. Bad for Ratepayers, Bad for the Environment

Alliant Energy, the electric company in Iowa that wants to increase electricity costs for its consumers by $240 per year to add more wind to their grid, now wants to shut down their existing nuclear plant, which produces electricity with no carbon dioxide emissions, so they can repower existing wind turbines add more wind. According to an article from S&P Global Platts: A spokesman for the Iowa utility subsidiary said Monday that Interstate Power and Light currently meets 25% of its customer demand in the state through an off-take agreement with NextEra Energy Resources, which owns the majority interest in the 615...

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WindFail: Minnesota Wind Facilities Could Produce Less Electricity in 2019 Than In 2018

This is huge news. I was looking through some data from the Energy Information Administration's website and I stumbled upon this interesting graph which shows that electricity generation from wind in 2019 could be less than it was in 2018 (red line added for emphasis). As you can see, generation from wind power peaked in December of 2017 and has not reached anywhere close to that height in the following months. In fact, wind output was 24 percent lower in December of 2018 than in December of 2017. It is interesting to note that wind generation did increases by about 1.8 percent in...

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Burning Wood Pollutes More than Coal-Fired Power Plants and Factories in Minnesota, Should We Ban Campfires?

Most people in Minnesota probably don't realize that our air is incredibly clean. According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency data, our air meets all federal air quality standards, which are designed to be protective of even the most vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. In fact, none of the categories of pollutants measured (ozone, fine particulates, lead, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, or sulfur dioxide) were even a risk for exceedance. In a nutshell, it means our air is impeccably clean. Despite this fact, many renewable energy groups want to shut down our coal-fired power plants in order to reduce emissions...

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Solar Roads Turned Out To Be A “Colossal Failure”

By now it should probably be more surprising when the next "big thing" in renewable energy isn't a colossal failure, but until that time comes, people will be surprised by how inefficient and expensive wind and solar truly are. The last example is the solar roads built in France and the United States that have turned out to be abject failures. According to Business Insider: Two years after the world's first solar road — the Normandy road in France — was set up, it's turned out to be a colossal failure, according to a report by Le Monde. The road has deteriorated to...

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Secretary of Agriculture Perdue Defends Decision to Renew Mineral Leases

Anti-mining activists have been quick to criticize the Trump Administration's decision to renew the mineral leases for the Twin Metals Minnesota project located north of Ely, Minnesota. However, these criticisms are not intellectually honest. After all, it was the Obama administration, in a lame-duck action, who broke decades of protocol by cancelling these mineral leases and sought a 20 year moratorium on mineral exploration. Even Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar stated the renewable should have been handled through the normal process. This is why it was refreshing to see Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, take to the pages of the Star...

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The Environmental Disaster of Solar Energy

Solar energy is terrible for the environment in a number of ways, including the fact that large land areas must be devoted to it. At Forbes, Michael Shellenberger highlights another problem with solar energy: it produces vast quantities of hazardous waste, which are not being adequately dealt with. The last few years have seen growing concern over what happens to solar panels at the end of their life. Consider the following statements: * The problem of solar panel disposal “will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment” because it “is a huge amount of waste and...

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