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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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Farms Use Boatloads of Energy

The article below is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Today in Energy series. It was published in October of 2014, but it reinforces the points I made earlier this week about how higher gas taxes will disproportionately hurt rural Minnesotans. The second graph in this post is especially interesting because it shows that diesel fuel, is the largest energy source used in agriculture because it works. Admittedly, I am not certain if the proposed fuel-tax increase would increase the taxes for off-road diesel, but this is something agriculture interest should pay close attention to. If raising the gas tax is needed for...

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Nationally Renowned Climate Scientist Judith Curry Cites Our Analysis of the Polar Vortex in Testimony to U.S. House of Representatives

On Wednesday, nationally renowned climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry cited American Experiment's analysis exposing the lack of wind during last week's polar vortex and our writings stressing the importance of reliable energy sources in the wake of bitter cold in her testimony in front of the U.S. House of Representatives in front of the House Committee Natural Resources. This is an incredibly big deal. I'm elated Dr. Curry cited our work. It is incredibly gratifying to see that we are having a powerful influence on energy policy not only in Minnesota, but also on a national level. I have included her somewhat...

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Minnesota Utilities Spur Wind Turbine Building Boom…In North and South Dakota

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota claimed that mandating the use of wind for electricity generation would produce a boom in jobs and generate local tax revenue for rural Minnesota, but many of the large industrial wind facilities planned by the state's major utility companies are in North and South Dakota, sending these jobs and revenues out of state....

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