fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Millions of Californians Lose Electricity Due to Cloud Cover, Low Wind Speeds

Last weekend, two million Californians suffered through rolling blackouts during record-breaking heat because cloud cover reduced the amount of electricity generated from solar power, and low wind speeds resulted in little production from wind energy, according to California's regional grid operator, the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO). If Minnesota does not change it's current course on energy policy, we will soon suffer the same fate. California has some of the most stringent renewable energy mandates in the country. Currently, California law requires requires that 50 percent of California's electricity to be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60 percent by...

Continue reading

Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

Continue reading

Jason Isaac: ERCOT’s Phantom Reserve Margins Spell Trouble for Summertime

Texas is often held up as an example by wind advocates of the free market choosing wind. These talking points may appear to be persuasive, but there are three main problems with this logic. Wind in Texas is still driven largely by federal subsidies. These subsidies allow wind turbine operators to make money even if the price of electricity is negative. Texas families and businesses were forced to pay $7 billion to build a transmission line from the windy panhandle to the populated areas of the state, amounting to another giant subsidy. Texas came very close to blackouts last summer,...

Continue reading

Mexico Pulls the Plug on Wind and Solar

The country of Mexico is pulling the plug on wind and solar installations amidst fears of rising electricity prices and a growing recognition that these unreliable sources of power add little to no value to the grid due to their dependence on the weather. While wealthy countries like the United States have been harmed by rising electricity prices due to renewables, the high incomes earned by Americans relative to those living in other countries has allowed them to stomach the costs better than those living in middle-income countries, like Mexico. Even Mexico's ultra-liberal President recognizes the harm that wind and solar will...

Continue reading

The Biggest Incentive for Solar in Minnesota

Did you know that the biggest subsidy for solar is hidden on your electric bill? While Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are trying to extend the federal solar subsidies, here in Minnesota, a policy called net metering serves as the biggest stealth subsidy that solar receives. The impact of this sizable subsidy was spelled out in a recent article in the Mankato Free Press, although I don't think the reporter realized this at the time. The piece begins with a feel-good story of an insurance company that put solar panels on their roof: "Thomas Rekstein no longer minds looking at the...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

House Democrats Propose Billions In Additional Subsidies for Wind, Solar, and Electric Cars

Advocates of wind and solar power often argue that wind and solar power are now the lowest cost sources of electricity on the market, making them more competitive than fossil fuels and nuclear power. If this is true, why do the wind and solar industries keep asking for more subsidies? The answer, of course, is that wind and solar are entirely dependent upon the government subsidizing and mandating these products. Subsidies are so important to the wind industry that many companies stop taking good care of their turbines once the facilities are no longer eligible for the subsidies, according to an analysis...

Continue reading

Families With Xcel Energy Pay More For Their Electricity Than People Living In All But 12 States

Xcel Energy bombards the airwaves with commercials stating how they are going to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide "affordable" energy to their customers. The problem with these slogans is that they are entirely false. For example, in this statement from Xcel Energy Chairman and CEO, Ben Fowke. Mr. Fowke states: "One of the many things we’ve learned from this pandemic is that nature can be our refuge, and we must protect it for current and future generations. For the past 15 years, we have led the clean energy transition while ensuring reliability and enhancing affordability. In December of 2018, we became...

Continue reading

Xcel Proposes $3B in Renewable Projects to Bolster Corporate Profits During Pandemic

Last week the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an article entitled "Xcel Proposes $3B in Renewable Projects to Bolster Economy Dogged by Pandemic." In the article, the author discusses Xcel's plan to spend billions of dollars on renewable energy projects. What is missing from the piece is Xcel's underlying motive for fast forwarding the projects, exploiting the high unemployment caused by the COVID-19 shutdown to increase their government-guaranteed corporate profits. There is No Free Market for Electricity in Minnesota One of the single-most important things conservatives need to know about Minnesota’s electric system is that there is no free market for electricity, and investor owned...

Continue reading