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Higher Than Expected Natural Gas Prices Highlight Importance of Coal-Fired Power Plants

Generating electricity with natural gas is far more expensive than generating electricity with coal at current gas prices. In fact, natural gas prices must remain below $2.92/mmbtu at a combined cycle natural gas plant, and below $2.24 at combustion turbine plants for consumers to save money on fuel costs relative to coal....

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Utility Dive Names Xcel Energy “Utility of the Year.” We’re Less Impressed

Utility Dive, a website that covers the ongoings of the electric utility industry, has named Xcel Energy the Utility of the Year for 2018, commending the company for retiring coal-fired power plants and investing billions in future wind, solar, and natural gas installations. As for us, we don't think Xcel should be applauded for pursuing policies that result in higher profits for Xcel shareholders at the expense of the families and businesses who have no choice but to buy their electricity from the monopoly utility. ...

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Revenge of the Diesel Class: Yellow Vest Protests Continue to Rage in France Over Climate Taxes

Thousands of Yellow Vest protesters in France continue to protest over the climate taxes imposed by French President Emmanuel Macron that will initially lead to a 30 cent increase in diesel prices, with the tax increasing over time. The New York Times described the protests as "shaking French politics to the core." The Yellow Vests are not young college students or far-right activists, they are the working class inhabitants of rural France that have been forgotten by the leaders in urban areas. NPR reports: "Among its ranks are retirees and the unemployed, farmers, housewives and people who have never protested before," NPR's Eleanor...

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In Case You Ever Question Our Renewable Energy Arguments – Here’s Xcel Agreeing with Us 

In its most recent annual securities and exchanges report to investors, Xcel admitted exactly what American Experiment has been saying for years – that renewable energy sources increase electricity rates, create energy grids with excess and idle capacity, and lead to a more unreliable energy system.  ...

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Listen Up: Isaac Orr Talks About the Importance of Keeping Existing Power Plants Running on the Plugged in Podcast

I had the pleasure of being on the Plugged In podcast, hosted by the Institute for Energy Research, last week. On the show, I talk about why closing down existing coal and nuclear plants is a bad idea, and how Australia has experienced skyrocketing electricity prices in the wake of imposing a carbon tax (now repealed) and setting aggressive renewable energy mandates. Enjoy! [embed]https://soundcloud.com/ieresearch/9-issac-orr-of-the-center-of-the-american-experiment-on-energy-in-minnesota[/embed]...

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A Little Math Shows Switching to Natural Gas Will Probably Increase Fuel Costs for Minnesota Ratepayers

It's a common refrain for energy policy: it is cheaper to generate electricity from natural gas than coal. In some respects this is true, but power plant efficiency and fuel prices are important variables we should consider before we completely shutter Minnesota's coal fleet in favor of renewables and natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants are more efficient than coal plants because they use the heat produced as gas is burned to make 50 percent more electricity. It's hard to explain, so I've included a video below. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ4yp_0Djvc#action=share[/embed] However, not all natural gas plants are combined cycle plants, and many of the...

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Renewable Groups Predictably Scrutinize Great River Energy’s Continued Use of Coal

Groups who oppose the reliable and affordable electricity generated by coal and natural gas such as the Sierra Club and Fresh Energy are predictably scrutinizing Great River Energy (GRE) for their plans to keep generating electricity at the Coal Creek Power Station, an enormous 1,156 MW power plant located in North Dakota. These special interest groups are hoping to pressure the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission into rejecting GRE's long term resource plan, which depends heavily on the Coal Creek plant to meet the electricity demands of their customers. This shouldn't surprise anyone, because the Sierra Club has spearheaded a nationwide campaign...

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Fossil Fuels and Hydro, Not Wind or Solar, Power Sub-Saharan Africa

Access to electricity has increased dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is incredibly good news, because more than 600 million people, nearly double the population of the United States, still live with no electricity. In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one, the vast majority of this electricity was provided by fossil fuels and hydro electric power, and this is exactly how it should be....

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Oh Snap: New England Energy Markets Undermined By Renewables Subsidies. Will Minnesota Learn From the Looming Disaster?

We're rapidly reaching a dangerous tipping point where the cost of  renewable energy subsidies and state-level renewable energy mandates will explode. High electricity prices hurt low-income families, seniors, and they are devastating for industries like farming, mining, and manufacturing because it greatly increases the cost of doing business. If we want to grow living-wage jobs for all Minnesotans, we must stop the madness and stop mandating expensive renewable energy....

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Confessions of a Former Xcel Energy Employee- Can Minnesota Avoid Wreckage Seen in Colorado?

A tell-all from Duane Richards, a former Xcel Energy employee, who plainly states that the company's "Steel for Fuel" agenda is an attempt to bolster shareholder profits at the expense of Colorado ratepayers, who will be stuck footing the bill. We can learn a lot in Minnesota from our friends in the west about the wisdom of pushing for greater renewable energy mandates, as some candidates for public office are advocating....

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