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In The Tank (EP185)- Jonathan Williams and the Pension Crisis; Green Real Deal; and the Electoral College

Hello! This week's episode of the In The Tank Podcast features work  from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Center of the American Experiment and the Cato Institute. In the first segment, Donald welcomes to the show, Jonathan Williams, chief economist and vice president of the center for state fiscal reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council. Jonathan joins the show to talk about a new ALEC study titled "Unaccountable and Unaffordable." Jonathan explains the state of the pension crisis, how it got so bad and what reforms we can enact to shore up these entitlement programs. In the next section, Donald, Jim, and Isaac talk...

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Doubling Down on Failure Installment Four: Renewable Energy Fails Cost/Benefit Analysis Using Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Social Cost of Carbon

This article is the fourth installment explaining the findings of our new study entitled Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion. This installment explains how the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions under the Renewable, Short-Term Nuclear, and Long-Term Nuclear would exceed the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) established by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) scenario, is the only scenario that passes this cost-benefit analysis. This post is pretty in the weeds, so the main takeaway is that the costs of reducing our carbon dioxide emissions...

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House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division Drops 78-Page, Energy-Illiterate Omnibus Bill

Democrats on the Minnesota House of Representatives Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division Committee have dropped a 78-page omnibus bill that is chalk full of energy-illiterate language. I've summarized some of the items in the omnibus below. Governor Walz' Energy Illiterate Green New Deal Different legislation, same bad policy. This legislation would require Minnesota’s electricity sector to be 100 percent free of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. However, just like earlier versions, this bill does not allow for new nuclear power, allow large hydro to count toward the mandate, or allow for carbon capture and sequestration. As such, this policy would cause massive...

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Would You Like Some Child Labor with That Electric Car?

Governor Walz has made expanding electric vehicle (EV) usage in Minnesota a high priority for his administration. In February, the Department of Transportation announced that transit officials want 20 percent of all cars, SUV's, and light-duty trucks to be electric by 2030, an increase of nearly 194,000 new electric vehicles on the road. We all know that EV's have serious shortcomings in the cold, losing up to 40 percent of their power output when it is 20 degrees above zero, but what will Walz's push for EVs do to the environment? It's a question that is worth examining, because despite the clean...

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Trump’s Energy Policies Bode Poorly for Putin

Is Donald Trump in fact a Russian agent? In my opinion, the energy policies he's enacted make that implausible. President Trump is the exact opposite of his predecessor on energy policy. Where Obama sought to impede the production of American coal, oil, and natural gas, President Trump has sought to achieve "energy dominance" by approving the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines, several natural gas pipelines. leasing land for mineral exploration, lifting onerous Obama-era regulations on the electricity sector, and approving liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to ship American natural gas all over the world. These efforts have paid dividends, as...

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The World Is Getting Better, Declares Op-Eds in Leading Newspapers

Despite all the doom and gloom among environmental activists, there is astoundingly little evidence to support their claims that the world is getting worse and worse all the time. The following article was featured at Reason.com. The human prospect is better than ever, declared a spate of op-eds as 2019 started. All I can say is: Welcome to the real world—I'm glad you guys have caught up. "The World Is Getting Quietly, Relentlessly Better," headlined TheWall Street Journal's economics commentator, Greg Ip. "Why 2018 Is the Best Year in Human History!" exclaimed New York Timescolumnist Nicholas Kristof. Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle warned: "Don't fall for...

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Yes, It’s True, You Are Turning Into Your Parents

The following article was originally published in the Star Tribune. With so many family gatherings this time of year, many of us notice that our siblings are turning into our parents — and that some of our partners’ and friends’ kids are turning into their parents. It’s no illusion. As scientists have learned from “nature vs. nurture” studies on twins and adoptees, we humans become more like our biological parents and other family members as we get older. This is a little scary. It’s not that we don’t love the anxious relative who can’t enjoy a holiday dinner because her stuffing wasn’t perfect,...

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American Experiment Seeks Full-Time Communications Director

The new year offers a new opportunity for a full-time communications director to join our team at Center of the American Experiment. 2019 promises to be a banner year as the Center gears up to help inform more Minnesotans than ever on the issues that matter most to our state. Communications Director--Center of the American Experiment--Golden Valley, MN Center of the American Experiment is Minnesota’s think tank. Its mission is to change Minnesota’s civic culture by promoting free-market, limited government policies. In addition to writing and commissioning papers, holding public meetings, and informing legislators, the Center engages in an aggressive outreach program...

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New ‘Miracle Foods’ Arrive; But What About The Old Ones?

People love their food fads. I remember Snackwell cookies, which were touted as being better for people because they were low fat. Turns out, they were still packed with calories and did next to nothing to reduce weight gain. In fact, because these cookies were considered healthier than the alternative, high-fat cookies, people ate more of them because they felt less guilty about eating them. In the end, people ate more cookies and gained more weight. This phenomenon is actually called the Snackwell Effect. Although Snackwell has seen its 15 minutes of fame come and go, there always seems to be a scientifically...

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St. Paul Library Goes Fine Free But It Could Cost You

The St. Paul Public Library let tens of thousands of delinquent card holders who owed fines for overdue books off the hook just in time for Christmas. The freebie fulfills one of Mayor Melvin Carter's campaign promises at the cost of more than $200,000 in uncollected fines. But critics say the feel-good gesture sends the wrong message to those who use the city service, according to the Pioneer Press account. The fine forgiveness has irked some traditionalists, who consider paying library fines a rite of passage and a mark of responsibility for young people. It also required the city to find $215,000 to offset...

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