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Rob Port: Xcel’s Coal-Free Plan is Politics Not Reality

The article below originally appeared in the Inforum, and it's spot on.  Xcel's decision is about padding its ratebase, and thus its corporate profits, and if they have to team up with the environmental groups, then so be it. MINOT, N.D. — “Xcel Energy plans to shutter its two remaining coal plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled — a move that will make the utility coal-free in the region by 2030,” Mary Divine reported for the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. That’s big news. All the more so because it’s not the full measure of Xcel’s ambition. The...

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Pollution Control Equipment Has Greatly Reduced Emissions at Minnesota’s Clean, Beautiful Coal Plants

Some renewable energy advocacy groups claim that Minnesota should aspire to have cheaper and cleaner electricity by using more wind and solar. Of course, this logic makes no sense because wind and solar increase the cost of electricity in Minnesota, but it is worth looking at whether coal-fired power, which is among the most affordable ways to generate electricity in Minnesota, is actually dirty. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, it isn't. When most people think of coal, they probably think of the smog-filled skies of 1950's Pittsburgh or scenes from modern-day Beijing, but advanced pollution control technology at coal-fired...

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Xcel’s Plan to Close Coal Plants Early Is Bad News for Minnesota Families and Businesses

Last week, Xcel Energy announced their desire to shutter the last of their coal-fired power plants a decade earlier than previously planned. If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the plan would increase electricity costs for Minnesota families and businesses and produce zero measurable reductions in global temperatures. It would, however, result in handsome corporate profits for Xcel Energy, which would be a direct wealth transfer from everyday Minnesotans, who are forced by the government to buy their electricity from Xcel, to the company's shareholders. Minnesota's coal plants provide some of the lowest-cost electricity in the state. The graph below...

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North Dakota Has $5 Million War Chest To Sue Minnesota Over Energy Issues

It looks like the State of North Dakota is poised to take Minnesota back out behind the woodshed again (legally speaking) if it enacts legislation that would mandate the use of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, which has been supported by the Walz administration and several DFL members of the House of Representatives this session. According to Senator Pratt, North Dakota has a massive $5 million war chest ready to sue the state of Minnesota once again over emission regulations that would violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution  or violate other federal laws by effectively allowing Minnesota to regulate...

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From Wisconsin: Why Are We Paying We Energies $430 Million in Profits on a Coal Plant That Shut Down Last Year?

The article below was written by Thomas Content, who is the Director of the Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin CUB eloquently argues that the government-approved monopoly utility company in Wisconsin should not get to profit on a coal plant it shut down before the end of its useful life. I couldn't agree more. The most important thing you can remember about utility companies like Xcel Energy and WE Energies is that they are not private companies. They are government approved monopoly utilities that are guaranteed to make a profit. You have no choice but to purchase your electricity from the utility...

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Refuting “Local View: Minnesota Must Aggressively Move to Less-Costly Renewables”

My piece in the Duluth News Tribune detailing how a 50 percent renewable energy mandate would harm the mining industry has generated quite the controversy, with at least three counterpoints from renewable energy special interest groups. Today, I'm refuting a member of the Citizen's Climate Lobby....

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The King Banaian Show: 4/27/19 HR 2: Isaac Orr and the Cost of Renewable Energy Mandate

I was also on the King Banaian show last weekend to talk about how renewable energy mandates and subsidies, not markets, are responsible for the eroding market share of coal-fired power plants, the University of Chicago report that found renewable energy mandates increase the cost of electricity and cost $130 per metric ton of CO2 avoided, and why there is zero free market case for building wind and solar in our state. https://omny.fm/shows/the-king-banaian-show/4-27-19-hr-2-isaac-orr-and-the-cost-of-renewable-e...

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