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How Long Can You Power a Light Bulb With Two Pounds of Fuel?

One of the most important concepts in energy policy is understanding energy density, or how much energy can be extracted from a certain quantity of fuel. Solar and wind power are the least energy dense sources of power. They require huge amounts of land to produce small amounts of energy. Wood, or biomass, is more dense than wind or solar, coal is more energy dense than wood, oil is more energy dense than coal, and uranium puts all of these other sources to shame. This is why wind and solar are the energy past, fossil fuels are the energy present, and...

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A Conservative Vision for Energy Policy in Minnesota

Last week, Ben Gerber, who is a board member for the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MNCEF) took to the pages of The Minnesota Reformer, which is likely the most progressive outlet in the state, in an attempt to defend his positions on energy policy. In his article, which I encourage you to read, Mr. Gerber argues that MNCEF, and not Center of the American Experiment, is the group that opposes heavy-handed government solutions. But this claim is incorrect, as I spell out in my reply below. I am told may be run on the Reformer's website at some date in the future. The...

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Debunking the Minnesota “Conservative” Energy Forum’s Talking Points: Renewables Don’t Strengthen Our National Security, They Weaken It

Most of the conservatives I know strongly believe in limited a government that is primarily focused on enforcing contracts and maintaining law and order. As a result, many conservatives care deeply about having a strong national security to protect the United States from potential threats. National security is often thought of in terms of military might. In this regard, the United States is unparalleled. However, energy is also an indispensable ingredient to keeping America safe, but unfortunately, the Minnesota "Conservative" Energy Forum's advocacy for more wind and solar power doesn't strengthen America's national security, it weakens it. This article is the fourth in...

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Debunking the Minnesota “Conservative” Energy Forum’s “Cleaner and Cheaper” Talking Points: How Clean Are Renewables, Really?

Last week we discussed why the Minnesota "Conservative" Energy Forum's (MNCEF) claim that wind and solar are "cleaner and cheaper" than traditional energy resources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear power is a fraudulent talking point from an economic perspective. Today, we'll examine why wind and solar aren't the environmentally consequence-free energy sources they're often touted as, and discuss better ways to take care of Minnesota's environment for future generations. This article is the third in a series explaining how the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum is intentionally misleading Minnesota conservatives on energy issues. Everything Has An Impact on the Environment, Even Wind...

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Why the Minnesota “Conservative” Energy Forum’s “Cleaner and Cheaper” Slogan is a Fraudulent Talking Point

Yesterday, I wrote about how the Minnesota "Conservative" Energy Forum received nearly 86 percent its funding from the liberal Energy Foundation in 2017, the most recent year for which data are available. While this should raise big red flags for Minnesota conservatives, the policies that MNCEF advocates for are ultimately far more important than where they get their funding. Unfortunately, MNCEF uses this money to try and convince conservative Minnesotans that renewable energy sources like wind and solar are "cleaner and cheaper" than traditional energy sources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, even though wind and solar are far more...

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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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