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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...

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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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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...

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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...

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Great River Energy’s Battery Is More Publicity Stunt Than Source of Power

Great River Energy's announcement that they would build a battery to help replace a coal-fired power plant received uncritical praise from the media and renewable groups, but a closer look at the proposed battery system shows this aspect of their plan is more of a publicity stunt than source of power....

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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...

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Canadian Hydroelectric Transmission Line Will Bring In More Renewable Energy Than All Minnesota Solar Projects – But None of It is “Renewable”

The newly-completed transmission line bringing hydroelectric power from Canada would supply more renewable energy than all of Minnesota's solar facilities, combined. But none of this power will count as "renewable" under Minnesota state law....

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ECO Act Could Increase Your Winter Heating Bill

Many Minnesotans are still reeling from the unrest that has enveloped the state for the last week. However, it appears the gears of government continue to churn. This Thursday, the Minnesota State Senate is scheduled to hold a hearing on the controversial ECO Act, which would make changes to the state's energy efficiency program, called the Conservation Improvement Program, or CIP. Like any legislation, the ECO Act has positive aspects, like it's removal of mandatory spending provisions, but is also has a number troubling liberal environmental wish-list action items that should be stripped from the bill. Among these liberal action items...

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ACTION ALERT! Tell Your Legislator Clean Energy First Will Increase Electricity Prices and Could Kill 10,000 Jobs ASAP

Nearly 670,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs since March 16, 2020 due to the Coronavirus shutdown, and on Friday, May 15 at 8:30 AM, the Minnesota State Senate Finance Committee will be considering passing the Clean Energy First bill, which could destroy thousands more jobs by paving the way for more expensive and unreliable forms of energy like wind and solar. Center of the American Experiment’s analysis has found this legislation would cost nearly $46 billion through 2050, cause electricity prices to increase by 35 percent in areas served by Xcel Energy, and that these higher electricity prices could destroy more than...

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Earth Day: Capitalism is Saving the Planet and Why Environmentalists Should Support Nuclear Power

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Last year I did a seven-part mini-series on how capitalism is saving the planet, which detailed how capitalist countries routinely have a cleaner environment than countries that don't respect property rights to the extent that we do in the United States. You can look back through those articles if you are interested. Part One: Wealth Makes Health, Eventually Part Two: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You Part Three: Would You Rather Mine in Venezuela? I Didn't Think So Part Four: Ridley: Rejoice, The Earth Is Becoming Greener Part Five: American Farmers Are Saving the Trees Through Innovation Part Six: Minnesota Forests Are Flourishing Part...

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