Governor Walz signs the Blackout Bill into law. Now what?

On Tuesday, February 7, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (DFL) signed the Blackout Bill into law. American Experiment has warned that the legislation, which requires that 100 percent of the electricity sold in Minnesota come from carbon-free resources by 2040, will force electricity prices to skyrocket and cause rolling blackouts.

Now the future of Minnesota’s energy grid will lie in the hands of the five members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Offramps? We don’t need no stinking offramps!

Liberal lawmakers and media outlets often emphasize that the Blackout Bill supposedly comes with offramps built into the legislation for affordability and reliability.

However, this emphasis is hollow because this legislation does not define what constitutes an affordable or reliable power grid. In fact, proposed amendments to add objective, measurable metrics for affordability or reliability were rejected by Democrats in the House of Representatives and State Senate on a party-line vote.

In fact, the liberals on the Senate Energy, Utilities, Environment, and Climate voted to enforce the carbon-free mandates even if Minnesota experiences a blackout, which you can see in the video below.

Because there are no objective measures to trigger offramps baked into this bill, it means that the offramps will only be allowed if the PUC, which consists of five unelected members appointed by the Governor, determines that complying with the mandates will cost too much or create too much of a risk to grid reliability.

This should not be reassuring to anyone because the PUC, to date, has prioritized renewables over the reliability and affordability of the electric grid, which American Experiment argued in 110 pages of testimony when we opposed Xcel Energy’s plan to prematurely retire their coal plants and replace them with unreliable wind and solar facilities. Unfortunately, the PUC rubber-stamped that plan, which will decrease reliability and increase costs.

From now on, the definition of affordable will be whatever this board of five unelected Commissioners appointed by Governor Walz say is affordable. Ditto for reliability.

In the coming days, I will detail why the PUC will almost certainly fail to take the right steps to preserve the reliability of the electric grid. Stay tuned.