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Xcel Energy Sponsors Gala for Anti-Mining, Anti-Farming, Pro-Wind and Solar Green Group To Help Them Pad Their Profits

Minnesota families saw their electricity bills reach a new all-time high in 2018 due to an increasing reliance on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power. Despite the fact that Minnesota is already on track to meet current renewable energy mandates, Xcel Energy wants exceed these regulations by building 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, a massive amount, and shutting down their existing coal plants, which produce some of the lowest cost electricity in the state. It appears Xcel is enlisting the help of the Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to help gain public approval for this plan by...

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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Cows in the Crosshairs: Environmental Groups Take Aim at Minnesota Farmers

After "farting cows" were identified as a climate risk to the planet in a document released by the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez addressing frequently asked questions about the Green New Deal, many people in Minnesota were quick to dismiss the idea that the state would begin to regulate farms based on their greenhouse gas emissions. However, it turns out that that is exactly what some Minnesota environmental groups want the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to do. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), a known anti-mining group and recipient of $530,000 from the McKnight Foundation in 2018, sued...

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This D-Day Anniversary, Remember the Soldiers, and Remember Minnesota’s Iron Miners

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. The United States could not have prevailed in World War II without the soldiers who stormed those beaches. Likewise, America could not have won the war without Minnesota's miners, who labored tirelessly to produce the iron ore that became the ships, aircraft, and rifles used achieve that feat....

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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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Government Mandates, Not Free Markets, Responsible for Minnesota’s Solar Growth

Solar irradiance, the energy potential for solar, in Minnesota is among the lowest in the country. Despite the poor solar resources in Minnesota, our state had installed 882 MW of solar. In a free market, investors would seek to maximize their returns by investing in solar farms in states like Arizona and California. This strongly suggests the growth in solar in Minnesota is a product of government mandates and rate structures, not free markets. ...

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EIA: Extreme Cold in the Midwest Led to High Power Demand and Record Natural Gas Demand

Well, folks.  The results of the Energy Information Administration's autopsy of the January 2019 polar vortex are in and wind fared very poorly, mainly because wind plants were turned off because it was too cold for them to operate safely. The article below is from EIA's Today in Energy series. Extreme cold weather in the Midwest at the end of January led to high—but not record-setting—electricity load on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, the coldest day of the period, on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator(MISO) grid. However, consumption of natural gas, the main fuel used for heating in the region, reached estimated record levels on...

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Tapping Into Greater Minnesota’s Can-Do Attitude

This column by American Experiment Chairman Ron Eibensteiner appeared in the Grand Rapids Herald Review. All the political talk about “Two Minnesotas” in this past campaign season inspired me to think long and hard about what exactly that means—and what we at the Center can do about it. To me, the first Minnesota consists of a political aristocracy, mostly urban, totally liberal, a political nobility composed of unionists, academics, social engineers and media whose attitude about governance can be summed up in three words: “We know better. Forget the real-world costs of coping with our lofty policies.” The other Minnesota is, well,...

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