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Minnesotans Should Save $200 Million on Gas and Electric Bills Thanks to Federal Tax Cut

Minnesotans' power bills keep heading in the wrong direction. As American Experiment's report, Minnesota Energy Policy: The High Cost of Failure, recently revealed, it's no secret why. At least $15 billion in Minnesota has been squandered on wind turbines and transmission lines with little to show for  it--except for jacked up utility bills. Green energy mandates have cost state consumers billions without achieving environmentalists' goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Last year for the first time, Minnesotans spent more than the national average on their power bills, wiping out what used to be an 18 to 20 percent price advantage before...

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Here’s an issue we can all agree on: End ridiculous, anti-competitive occupational licensing

Reforming excessive state-based occupational licensing requirement is the issue that has a U of M labor professor sounding like a disciple of Milton Friedman and expressing strong support for legislation supported by the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress. Work to fix this anti-competitive abuse begun under the Obama Administration but progress has been difficult since all this regulation takes place at the state level.  But now a recent court case has opened the door to action by Congress that could spur reform at the state level. Even so, it was a joy to read in today’s Star Tribune the brilliant op-ed...

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Electricity utilities are less likely to invest under ‘liberal’ regulators

Regulation imposes a huge burden on the American economy and holds back economic growth. New research shows, for example, that electricity utilities are less likely to invest under 'liberal' regulators than 'conservative' ones, which reduces reliability. Current efforts to roll back this mass of regulation are to welcomed. ...

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Feds Reverse Controversial Ban on Northern MN Mining

Northern Minnesotans looking to reverse the Obama administration's last-minute arbitrary ban on mineral exploration just got an unexpected holiday gift out of the blue to the shock of just about everyone, including the Star Tribune. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Friday unexpectedly opened up access to hard rock mining on the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs, reversing an Obama decision that might have protected the wilderness indefinitely. In an opinion posted on the agency’s website, officials said that contrary to its decision a year ago, it does not have the discretion to deny Twin Metals its leases for copper...

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Administration Slashes Federal Regulations at Record Rate

Economists point to the new regulatory climate in Washington as one of the key reasons behind the scenes for the U.S. economy's resurgence. The extent to which the Trump administration has not only contained but cut federal regulations came into full view this week with the release of perhaps the most obscure, yet critical economic indicator most Americans never heard of. It's the Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions , a twice yearly update of all the regulations in the process of development by the federal government. Trump ran on a promise to cut twice as...

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House Passes Bill Ending Obama Mining Ban in Northern MN

The Obama administration's last-minute ban on mineral exploration in northern Minnesota would be history under legislation passed late last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.  The measure still needs to clear the Senate in order to reach President Trump's desk. But as the Duluth News Tribune and other media noted, it's a big step in the effort to tap into the Iron Range's vast mining potential. The bill is aimed at Twin Metals, the Chilean-owned company that wants to build a massive underground copper mine near the Kawishiwi River southeast of Ely. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management...

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Iron Range Up in Arms Over State’s Latest Environmental Overreach

Iron Range mining, union and community leaders have their backs against the wall again, thanks to environmental activists and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. They say an unenforceable proposed MPCA regulation aimed at raising water quality standards for wild rice could decimate industry and cost local taxpayers millions for upgraded water treatment facilities. The Iron Mining Association website puts it this way: The proposed standard has not been proven to protect or increase the health of wild rice. Moreover, the proposed standard predicts the wrong outcome up to one in five times. This is unacceptable when the costs of implementation are estimated...

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Time for Minnesota to update 1970s-era pipeline permitting process

A series of public hearings started yesterday on whether there is a “need” to replace the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline that carries crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.  The first hearing took place in Thief River Falls and, according to TRF Radio,  supporting testimony “far outweighed those against.” To gain approval, oil pipelines have been required to acquire a certificate of need at least as far back as 1974.  State law requires oil pipelines to follow essentially the same procedure to demonstrate need as electric power generating plants and high voltage powerlines. Considering how these laws date back to an...

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Who should Trump appoint to the Fed?

Earlier this year I wrote a piece (Government, Not Wall Street, Caused Financial Crisis) that showed that the Trump administration was right to call the Dodd-Frank legislation passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis a “massive government overreach. The crisis was not caused by greed, Wall Street risk-taking, and lack of private sector regulation, as is the dominant narrative advanced by the Democrats and the media. Instead, the crisis was set up by well-intentioned but reckless government housing policies going back to the 1990s, and the crash was triggered by blunders of historic proportions by the Treasury Department and...

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Why Do Apple, Facebook and Twitter Oppose Internet Deregulation?

Another multi-national corporation has fallen in line with Facebook, Twitter and Google, admonishing the Federal Communications Commission to drop plans to deregulate the internet. Apple has come out in favor of so-called net neutrality, warning the Obama administration regulations represent the last bulwark against censorship by big internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. It's the talking point used by liberals and their allies to preempt discussion of an issue that in many ways boils down to this: Do you want more or less federal government regulation of the internet? Twitter apparently has it out for anyone not towing the...

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