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Isaac Orr: Minnesota’s High Electric Bills Will Continue to Rise Higher

This article originally appeared in today's Pioneer Press. The version below is the same text, but with graphics added. Xcel Energy recently unveiled its plan to prematurely retire its coal plants and replace them with billions of dollars’ worth of wind, solar, and most importantly, natural gas. Unfortunately, Xcel’s plan will constitute a large increase in electricity costs for Minnesota families, businesses and schools, and these costs would far exceed any potential environmental benefit. Many people may not realize that Minnesota residential electric bills reached a new all-time high in 2018. In fact, these bills exceeded $103 per month for the first time ever...

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Fresh Energy Is Still Intentionally Misleading Minnesotans on Energy Issues: Part One – Electricity Rates

Fresh Energy, a renewable energy advocacy organization, continues to mislead Minnesotan’s on energy issues – and it appears they don’t appreciate our work explaining how wind and solar are driving up the cost of electricity in our state....

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Minnesotans Are Not Getting A Deal on Their Electricity Bills

Renewable energy advocates' fixation on bills relative to the national average rather than prices, is a disingenuous slight of hand that allows them to make it seem like Minnesotans are getting a deal on their electric bill, when in reality our bills are only lower than those of residents living in other states because we less electricity than the national average. In short, we're not getting a deal on our electricity. We're paying more for less....

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Don’t Forget, Trump’s Tax Cuts Brought Down Your Electricity Bill

Despite what its detractors say, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year has been an unqualified success. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1969, wages are rising in critical industries like manufacturing, and we now have a situation where employers are struggling to find employees, not unemployed people struggling to find jobs. Economic gains were part of the sales pitch for the tax cuts, but Minnesotans have also experienced a host of unexpected benefits from them, including refunds from electric utilities. Because the tax cuts reduced the corporate tax income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, Xcel...

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Xcel Should Save Sherco 1 and 2, Skip the Wind

On October 2nd, Xcel Energy told a crowd of people about how they intend to grow their "carbon free" electricity generation portfolio by replacing coal-fired generation with more wind. This would happen as the monopoly utility closes three coal plants at Sherburne County (Sherco) Units 1 and 2, in Becker, and the Allen S. King plant in Stillwater.  Xcel should save the coal and skip the wind, because Minnesota can't afford more failed energy policies. ...

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EIA: One in Three U.S. Households Faces a Challenge in Meeting Energy Needs

Electricity bills, especially in states with large renewable energy mandates, are skyrocketing. Rapidly increasing electricity prices have forced families to make tough decisions about whether to pay their electric bill, or to buy groceries. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports nearly one-third of U.S. households (31%) reported facing a challenge in paying energy bills or sustaining adequate heating and cooling in their homes in 2015....

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Wisconsin Consumer Protection Group Say Focus on Electric Bills Instead of Rates Obscures High Cost of Electricity: What Can Minnesota Learn?

The Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board, which protects families and small businesses from increasing electricity prices, said the focus on bills instead of prices obscure the fact that the state has the highest electricity prices in the Midwest. Unfortunately, renewable energy advocates in Minnesota use the same sleight of hand to try and persuade the general public that the state's $15 billion dollar investment in unreliable wind power has not caused electricity prices to skyrocket. This is simply is not true....

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