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Walz Administration Plans to Push Ahead with Controversial California Car Mandates After Coronavirus Situation has Settled

On April 3, 2020, the Walz Administration announced that it still plans on pushing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to adopt California's controversial car mandates for low emission vehicles (LEV) and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) in Minnesota before the end of 2020, but that the original timeline would be pushed back as a result of the Coronavirus. While American Experiment has been the leading critic of the Walz Administration's attempt to adopt California's car standards because it will violate the private property rights of auto dealers, increase costs for consumers by $2,000 to $2,500 per vehicle, force auto dealers to...

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Minneapolis Not Enforcing Plastic Bag Fee Through At Least July 1, 2020

Yesterday I wrote about how the City of San Francisco has not only revered their ban on single-use plastic bags to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but they have also banned the use of reusable bags due to concerns that these bags may be less sanitary than single-use plastic bags. Locally, it appears that the City of Minneapolis is suspending enforcement of a mandatory 5 cent bag fee until at least July 1, 2020. This information was obtained via an email request, and you can read the entire response below: "Effective January 1, 2020 retail establishments are required to charge...

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San Francisco Bans Reusable Bags, Reverses Plastic Bag Ban in Coronavirus Fight

San Francisco is banning reusable shopping bags and reversing its ban on plastic bags to prevent outside germs from entering grocery stores as the coronavirus pandemic affects cities around the country, according to an article in The Hill.  Prohibiting the use of reusable bags during these circumstances (and reversing policies banning or taxing single-use plastic and paper bags) makes sense, which is why many private companies have already taken the initiative to ban them in their stores. At this time, it doesn't appear that reusable bags are so much a threat to other shoppers who maintain social distancing, but they could...

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Walz Wisely Designates Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines as “Essential Operations” During COVID-19 Shutdown

COVID-19 continues to dominate the state and national conversation, and more jurisdictions are issuing Shelter in Place orders to try and slow the spread of the virus to buy time for healthcare providers to prepare for the peak caseload. These orders have required the closure of businesses that have been deemed non-essential. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is to be commended for recognizing the importance that oil and natural gas pipelines play in the everyday lives of all Minnesotans, and all Americans, by deeming them to be essential. The map below shows the extensive network of energy pipelines operating in the state....

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Seven: Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking” as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, banning fracking would cause  greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota power plants to increase by approximately 25 percent above estimated 2019 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions would increase because a fracking ban would triple the cost of generating electricity with natural gas, making it impossibly expensive to use. As a result, Minnesota utilities would likely return to burning more coal to generate electricity, which emits...

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Gas Prices Will Soon Be Under $1 As a Result of COVID-19 Lockdowns, Saudi and Russian Price War

Minnesota drivers might have noticed falling prices at the pump over the weekend, and prices are about to fall below a dollar per gallon of gasoline, at least that's my prediction based on the fact that crude oil prices have now fallen to a 17-year low. Prices are falling because many people are no longer commuting to work and businesses are closed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19, and because a price war is being waged by Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second- and third-largest producers of oil in the world, behind the United States. Demand Drops from COVID-19 According to...

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Federal Coronavirus Spending Excludes Renewable Energy Subsidies, A Benefit to All Americans

Earlier this week, American Experiment wrote about how some Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate had opposed the proposed pandemic relief spending bill because did not include more subsidies for the wind and solar industry, among other items on the liberal wish list that are totally irrelevant to the virus outbreak. Thankfully, attempts to insert these pork-barrel projects into the bill failed, which benefits all Americans by not providing even more incentives for unreliable, weather-dependent resources that increase the cost of providing electricity to everyone. It wasn't due to lack of trying, though. According to an article in Utility Dive:  "Despite...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Six: Impossibly Expensive Electricity

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking.” However, banning fracking would cause the cost of generating electricity with natural gas to skyrocket by tripling the cost. As a result, places like Minnesota would either see utilities switch back to coal-fired power plants, or if Xcel Energy gets to fully implement it's plan to shut down coal-fired power plants before the end of their useful lifetime and replace them wind, solar, and natural gas, Minnesota families will be shocked at...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Five: A Fracking Ban Would “Make America Dependent Upon Russia and OPEC, Again!”

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking.” However, this would be an incredibly bad idea because it would crush America's surging oil and gas industry and make the United States dependent upon foreign sources of natural gas and oil, like Russia and Saudi Arabia, again. This article is the fifth installment in this series. Flexing America's Energy Muscles It wasn't long ago that Americans were convinced that our country was running out of oil and natural gas, and that the ensuing...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Four: Holy $1,325 Heating Bill Increase, Batman!

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking,” but such a policy would cause the heating bill for the average Minnesota household to increase by about $1,330 every year because fracking is crucial for natural gas production. This article is the fourth installment in this series. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, "What if Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?," a fracking ban would cause natural gas prices to increase from $1.80 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) today, to $12...

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