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Benjamin Zycher: Earth Day 2020: The Exhaustion of the Climate Left

The following article originally appeared in RealClearMarkets and was written by Benjamin Zycher: “Climate Action” is the theme of this 50th Earth Day, and it is useful to note that these five decades of apocalyptic warnings truly are amazing in their consistency: Not one actually has come to pass. The juxtaposition of two news stories, respectively from 1988 and from last January, is among the more amusing tidbits from decades of climate fearmongering. The former: “A gradual rise in sea level is threatening to completely cover” the Maldives. The latter: “Maldives to open four new airports in 2020.” Amusement aside, the theme this year is a clear sign...

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Michael Shellenberger on ‘Planet of the Humans’: Capitalism Isn’t The Problem With Renewable Energy – It’s Physics

Pro-nuclear advocate Michael Shellenberger appeared on Australia's SkyNews to talk about the impact of Michael Moore's Planet of the Humans documentary on the public's perception of wind and solar power. I'd encourage you to watch the interview below. https://youtu.be/ko8aXUm5DfU...

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Study in International Journal of Sustainable Energy Finds Wind Turbines Are Not Cost Effective

A newly-released study in the International Journal of Sustainable Energy confirms what we at Center of the American Experiment have been saying for a long time, the metric that is often used to compare the cost of different energy resources, the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), is not an appropriate metric to model the cost of weather dependent resources like wind and solar, and that wind turbines are not cost effective when their intermittency and unreliability are taken into account. Levelized Cost of Energy Estimates in A Weather-Dependent World Levelized Cost of Energy estimates used to make sense 20 years ago because...

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Earth Day: Capitalism is Saving the Planet and Why Environmentalists Should Support Nuclear Power

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Last year I did a seven-part mini-series on how capitalism is saving the planet, which detailed how capitalist countries routinely have a cleaner environment than countries that don't respect property rights to the extent that we do in the United States. You can look back through those articles if you are interested. Part One: Wealth Makes Health, Eventually Part Two: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You Part Three: Would You Rather Mine in Venezuela? I Didn't Think So Part Four: Ridley: Rejoice, The Earth Is Becoming Greener Part Five: American Farmers Are Saving the Trees Through Innovation Part Six: Minnesota Forests Are Flourishing Part...

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Minnesotans Don’t Want California Car Mandates, Even If the Natural Resources Defense Council Does

On April 16, 2020 the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wrote an article entitled "Minnesotans Want Clean Cars: The Oil Industry, Not So Much." The article, which mentions Center of the American Experiment by name, was meant to be a defense of Governor Walz's attempt to force Minnesotans to obey California car mandates for low emissions vehicles and zero emissions vehicles. However, the NRDC article made several easily-refutable claims that merit correcting, and these claims will be discussed below. In reality, American Experiment's polling has found that California's car regulations are deeply unpopular in Minnesota because the vast majority of Minnesotans...

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Our Perspective: New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Star Tribune ran a story entitled "New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota." The article discusses businesses that claim the solar panels installed at their facilities will offset significant amounts of their electricity use, and will have a three to five year payback periods. Energy issues are complex, and the solar industry has a strong financial interest in only presenting the "sunny" side of their industry without discussing the negative consequences that stem from adding solar to the grid. Unfortunately, the article could have have been more balanced by explaining...

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Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Will Operate for 80 Years, While Wind Turbines Still Last for 20 Years

According to the Daily Energy Insider, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved Florida Power & Light’s proposal to add an additional 20 years of operation for the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4 near Miami, Florida. This is the first time the NRC has approved renewed licenses for operation extending the lifetime of a nuclear plant from 60 to 80 years, but it may well be the beginning of several companies seeking longer operating licenses for their existing nuclear facilities. As a result of the renewal, Turkey Point Unit 3’s renewed license now expires on July 19, 2052....

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Windfail: Individual Wind Facilities Were Less Productive in 2018 than 2017 in Many Regions of the Country

Renewable energy advocates are seemingly always talking about how advances in technology will *finally* make wind and solar competitive with coal, nuclear, and natural gas without taxpayer subsidies. One of their arguments is that wind facilities are becoming more productive over time, generating more of their potential output, but recent data from Lawrence Berkeley Labs shows the productivity of wind turbines fell from 2017 to 2018 in many regions of the country, including Minnesota....

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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Most Canadians Unwilling to Pay Much for Carbon Tax: Poll

The following article originally appeared in the Toronto Sun: The majority of Canadians support battling climate change but don’t want to cough up more than $200 a year in carbon tax. Think-tank SecondStreet.org hired polling company Nanos Research to conduct the poll that found 47.5% of Canadians are willing to pay $100 or less a year in carbon tax. Another 7.7% would pay $101-$200 annually. If the 13.1% of respondents who answered “unsure” are excluded from the results 54.7% of Canadians are not willing to pay over $100 for the tax. One thousand Canadians 18 or older participated in the survey. Most past polls on the carbon tax have studied...

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