House DFL’s 186-page energy bill is their Greenest New Deal, yet

Last week, the Minnesota House DFL pushed a 186-page energy omnibus bill through the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee on a party-line vote. The bill is a wish list of far-left energy objectives that make it the Greenest New Deal yet debated by the legislature.

There are too many bad provisions in this bill to discuss them all, but here are some of the lowlights.

  • ECO ACT- The ECO Act is problematic legislation that promotes crony capitalism and forces people to subsidize electric vehicle purchases through higher electric bills. It could also lead to much higher home heating bills.
  • Energy Storage System Mandate- Mandating the use of energy storage will cause electric bills to skyrocket and fail to provide anywhere near enough backup to keep the lights on when wind and solar are “reliably unreliable,” according to a WoodMackenzie study.
  • Goal: 50 percent cut in existing residential/commercial GHG by 2035– Cutting residential and commercial greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings almost certainly means subsidizing weatherization upgrades to homes that cost twice as much as the cost of energy they save and banning the use of natural gas for home heating. This would be a disaster, causing home heating prices to spike because electricity is much more expensive than natural gas.
  • MN Innovation Finance AuthorityAmerican Experiment warned about how this new state Authority, organized as a non-profit, would be a giant giveaway to green groups and ripe for corruption.
  • Clean Energy First– Clean Energy First is a problematic bill that will rubber-stamp Xcel Energy’s proposed $57 billion Green New Deal that would allow the company to shut down their reliable coal plants before the end of their useful lifetimes and build wind, solar, and natural gas power plants. This means massive increases in electricity prices for Minnesota families and businesses.
  • Mandate: Carbon-Free Electricity by 2040: This mandate dovetails with Governor Walz’s announcement that electricity generated in the state come from 100 percent carbon-free resources by 2040, which will increase costs and make our electric grid more vulnerable to blackouts. The bill doesn’t legalize new nuclear plants or allow large hydro to count.
  • Goal: wind, solar, storage, demand response, efficiency are favored resources– Wind, solar, and battery storage are unserious fairy tales promoted by groups who claim that climate change is an existential crisis, yet they bitterly oppose nuclear power. It makes zero sense, which is why it is impossible to take their claims that they are “following the science,” seriously.
  • Goal: beneficial electrification of end uses in the building sector– Wind and solar special interest groups often push for “beneficial electrification” in the building sector, but this essentially means banning the use of natural gas for home heating, water heating, and cooking. Electricity is more expensive than natural gas, so there is nothing “beneficial” about this unless you’re a monopoly utility or a wind or solar company.
  • Goal: Statewide Net Zero GHG by 2050- Minnesota is already failed to meet its 2015 goals greenhouse gas goals because they were unrealistic wish casting, not an engineering analysis of what was technically feasible. It appears the legislature is doubling down. This goal will likely be used as justification for the creation of more administrative rules by unelected bureaucrats, like the California car mandates, or the Green New Permitting rules. This is particularly egregious because eliminating all of Minnesota’s greenhouse gas emissions would have zero measurable impact on future global temperatures.
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard/Future Fuels ActAmerican Experiment has discussed how a Low Carbon Fuel Standard would be a massive gas tax increase on Minnesota families because it would force us to adopt California-styled policies that increase the cost of driving.
  • Electric Vehicles– DFL lawmakers want you to pay higher taxes and higher electric bills so wealthy people can get subsidies for electric vehicles. This gross miscarriage of justice would only be perpetuated under this bill.
  • Electric School Buses, Electric City Buses– Electric buses don’t work as well as diesel busses, which is why Metro Transit has pulled the plug on their all-electric bus dreams.

If DFL legislators were serious about reducing emissions, rather than mandating the energy sources they prefer, they would legalize new nuclear power, allow the electricity we already buy from large hydroelectric dams in Minnesota to count as “carbon free,” and seriously explore carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

This will be the worst case scenario for Minnesota’s economy, and emissions. By making our electricity too expensive to do business in Minnesota, our companies will leave for other states or countries that have lower costs.

If companies move to China, then globally emissions will likely increase because China built the equivalent of 40 Minnesota coal plants in 2020, alone.