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Minnesota Quitting Coal 9 Percent Slower Than The National Average, Despite Electricity Prices Rising 30 Percent Faster

Many Minnesotans like to believe that Minnesota is a "green" state. However, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that Minnesota has reduced its's coal consumption by a slower rate than the nation as a whole from 2001 to 2018. Despite reducing it's coal consumption by a smaller margin than the national average, Minnesota has seen it's electricity prices increase 30 percent faster than the national average. In essence, Minnesota's energy policy has been a massively-expensive failure, and proposals to shut down the remainder of the state's coal plants and replace them with a combination of wind, solar, and natural...

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Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans Removed Due to Alleged Copyright Infringment

Michael Moore's documentary, Planet of the Humans, was removed from YouTube yesterday amidst allegations that some of the footage shown in the film infringed on copyrights. At the time of it's removal, the film had garnered more than 8 million views. The renewable energy industry has been calling for the film to be removed from the platform since the day it was released. These groups made several inaccurate claims about the contents of the film, and while there were some errors in Planet of the Humans, by and large it did a good job of articulating the fact that wind and solar also have impacts...

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How Does Minnesota Coal Use Stack Up Against China, the Whole United States?

Xcel Energy bombards the airwaves to inform us that they plan to generate 100 percent of their electricity with carbon free resources by 2050. To accomplish this goal, Xcel plans to prematurely retire their coal-fired power plants and replace them with weather-dependent resources like solar and wind. American Experiment's modeling has concluded this plan will cost each Minnesota household more than $1,200 per year, every year, through 2050. For such enormous costs, one would hope that closing our coal plants would have a significant environmental benefit, but a look at coal consumption data from China, the United States as a whole,...

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Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Closure Reliant Upon $105 Million in Taxpayer Subsidies Per Year

Last week, Great River Energy (GRE), a large umbrella company for many of Minnesota's electric co-ops, announced they would be prematurely closing the Coal Creek power plant at the end of 2022 and replacing it with a mixture of wind power purchase contracts from 1,100 megawatts (MW) of newly-constructed wind projects, and buying electricity from other companies when the wind isn't blowing. GRE has said its will be a boon for its customers. However, this plan relies heavily on $105 million in annual federal tax subsidies, which simply shift the costs from Great River Energy's customers, to tax payers. In the...

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Why the Renewable Industrial Complex’s Attacks On Michael Moore’s Planet Of the Humans Are Wrong

Last week, filmmaker Michael Moore released his latest film entitled Planet of the Humans. The film brings several inconvenient truths about renewable energy to light, namely that wind turbines and solar panels don't last very long, their intermittent nature means we still need fossil fuels, and that they require lots of land, mining, and habitat destruction to build and operate. As a result, the film has provoked a massive backlash from the Renewable Industrial Complex, but their attacks on the film are wrong. The article below debunks the claims made by wind and solar special interest groups about the film. U Mad, Bro? The backlash...

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Guest Post: Minnesota Doesn’t Own North Dakota

This post was originally submitted to the Say Anything Blog in response to this post by Peder Mewis, of the Clean Grid Alliance.  It’s interesting that in his recent guest post, Peder Mewis spoke of the contribution that wind energy makes to “our state.” The reason this word choice is interesting is because he doesn’t live in North Dakota. I’m not sure if he believes Minnesota owns North Dakota, making it “our state,” but North Dakotans would be wise to ignore the voices that have cheered on an industry that has caused Minnesota’s electricity prices to skyrocket. In the spirit of full disclosure,...

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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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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Seven: Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking” as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, banning fracking would cause  greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota power plants to increase by approximately 25 percent above estimated 2019 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions would increase because a fracking ban would triple the cost of generating electricity with natural gas, making it impossibly expensive to use. As a result, Minnesota utilities would likely return to burning more coal to generate electricity, which emits...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Six: Impossibly Expensive Electricity

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking.” However, banning fracking would cause the cost of generating electricity with natural gas to skyrocket by tripling the cost. As a result, places like Minnesota would either see utilities switch back to coal-fired power plants, or if Xcel Energy gets to fully implement it's plan to shut down coal-fired power plants before the end of their useful lifetime and replace them wind, solar, and natural gas, Minnesota families will be shocked at...

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Coronavirus-Induced Shortage of Solar Panel Components Highlights China’s Major Role in Solar Supply Chain

Last week, the Star Tribune ran a story about how the Coronavirus has disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, potentially causing the delay of two large solar installations in Wisconsin. The supply-chain interruptions have occurred because of factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China, highlighting the major role that China has plays in the solar supply chain. According to the article: "Asia, and particularly China, is the globe’s primary supplier of solar cells and panels, and is also a major source of inverters and racking system components. Racks hold solar panels in place; inverters convert panels’ DC current into AC. Also, about...

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