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This Year in Energy and Environment: 2019 Edition

With 2020 upon us, I'd like to reflect back on 2019 because it was a banner year for energy and environmental issues here at Center of the American Experiment. Here are some of the highlights from each month. In January, American Experiment submitted comments to the U.S. Forest Service in support of the lease renewal for the Twin Metals Minnesota mine. Since then Twin Metals has submitted its mine plan to state and federal agencies for review. We also covered the fact that wind and solar were not working during Polar Vortex in real time, highlighting the dangers of relying upon...

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Hey Minnesota Liberals! Stop Complaining About Low-Wage Service Jobs Unless You Support More Mining

The new soup du jour of liberal talking points appears to be that the current economy isn't very good at all because many of the jobs that are currently being created are low-paying jobs in the service and tourism sectors. But if liberals in Minnesota want to complain about the rise of low-paying jobs in these sectors, they had better be in favor of more mining in Minnesota....

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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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The War on Greater Minnesota

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. Picture Minnesota. Do you think of lakes, farm fields, and winding country roads, or busy city streets framed by the Minneapolis skyline? The answer depends a lot on which part of our diverse state you call home. Most multigenerational Minnesotans can trace their roots back to ancestors who made their living on the land in small rural towns, either as farmers or miners. Now, more than half of Minnesotans live in the seven-county Twin Cities...

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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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