fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Statewide View Column: Closing Down Coal Gives China’s, India’s Iron Industries An Edge

The following article was written by me, and it originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune. Xcel Energy recently made headlines by announcing it wished to close down its coal-fired power plants 10 years before they were previously scheduled to retire. However, it would be nothing short of a disaster for Minnesota’s mining industry, both present and future, if Minnesota Power pursued a similar path by closing the coal-fired Boswell Energy Center at a time when China and India are greatly expanding their use of coal. Mining requires an enormous amount of energy. In fact, the MinnTac mine in Mountain Iron reportedly...

Continue reading

Minnesota Wind Generated More Electricity Than Coal in April 2019, But That’s Not Really Relevant

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota will probably celebrate the fact that wind power produced more electricity than coal-fired power plants in April of this year (if they haven't already). This is true, as you can see in the graph below, but it is also irrelevant. When this phenomenon is viewed in the context of electricity demand, as well as supply, it paints a very different picture. The graph below shows total electricity generation in Minnesota, along with the generation from coal and wind, dating back to January of 2018. Coal generation fell in April of 2018 and 2019 because April is one...

Continue reading

Burning Wood Pollutes More than Coal-Fired Power Plants and Factories in Minnesota, Should We Ban Campfires?

Most people in Minnesota probably don't realize that our air is incredibly clean. According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency data, our air meets all federal air quality standards, which are designed to be protective of even the most vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. In fact, none of the categories of pollutants measured (ozone, fine particulates, lead, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, or sulfur dioxide) were even a risk for exceedance. In a nutshell, it means our air is impeccably clean. Despite this fact, many renewable energy groups want to shut down our coal-fired power plants in order to reduce emissions...

Continue reading

St. Paul Green Party Mayoral Candidate’s Paper Straw Response to my PiPress Article Doesn’t Hold Up

Last week I had an opinion editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press discussing how Minnesota's foray into wind and solar has led to higher electricity costs for no measurable environmental benefits. This prompted Elizabeth Dickinson, the former Green Party mayoral candidate for St. Paul to write a letter accusing me of using cherry-picked data. However, upon further scrutiny, the logic she uses in her letter to the editor holds up as well as paper straws. This sort of accusation is commonplace, but it does not make it correct. I've posted her letter below with my own thoughts about the points made...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

Navy Times: Coal is the Most Reliable Source of Electricity for Our Military

Yesterday I wrote about how oil, not wind and solar, is the most important source of energy for our military. Today I'd like to delve deeper into the electricity sector because having access to reliable electricity is incredibly important for our military, especially as technology continues to play a larger and larger role in keeping America safe. Renewable energy advocates sometimes argue that wind and solar make our country safer, but it is hard to imagine any way that intermittent, unreliable sources of electricity could meaningfully improve our national security in a way that coal, natural gas, and nuclear power cannot. The reason...

Continue reading

Xcel Energy CEO Made $26.2 Million in 2018 As Your Electric Bill Reached a New All-Time High

The Star Tribune recently ran a piece announcing that Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke was the third-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2018 with a total pay of $26.2 million for the year. This wouldn't necessarily be outrageous compensation if Xcel Energy were a private company competing for your businesses in a free market, but the fact that Xcel customers are literally forced by the government to buy their electricity from the  government-approved monopoly makes this level of compensation unconscionable. Why does the Xcel CEO get paid so much? According to the Star Tribune: "Fowke’s annual bonus is based on five factors: employee...

Continue reading

Global CO2 Emissions To Skyrocket As India Plans To Build 42 Shercos in the Coming Years

During the legislative session, we heard Governor Walz, House DFL members, and liberal environmentalists call climate change an "existential crisis," several times (give or take a million). This so-called crisis was used as justification for trying to pass radical Green New Deal-style legislation in Minnesota in an attempt to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Absent from these discussions, however, was any context for global carbon dioxide emissions and the impact they will have on future temperatures. This seems like a massive oversight. It's called global warming, after all. The most likely reason this discussion never occurred is because it would undermine the Governor's case...

Continue reading