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Two DFL Legislators Hit Reverse on Opposition to California Car Mandates

On Tuesday I wrote about how 123 candidates for office in Minnesota have signed a pledge to oppose the Walz administration's attempt to impose California car mandates on Minnesota. One encouraging aspect of the pledge was the fact that both Republicans and DFLers had signed it. Unfortunately, two DFL legislators have hit reverse on their opposition to the new regulations. According to MinnPost: "Two Democratic state lawmakers who signed a pledge opposing tougher vehicle emission standards proposed by Gov. Tim Walz now say they support the regulations. State Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton, and state Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, asked to be...

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Local View: After Summer Internship, I’m a Believer in PolyMet

The following article was originally published in the Duluth News Tribune. It is the story of Mikayla Mellesmoen, who is studying environmental science at Mankato State University. Ms. Mellesmoen had a summer internship with PolyMet, where she worked closely with the environmental compliance team taking water samples, monitor gas vents, and assess the water levels in the area surrounding the mine. When you hear “PolyMet,” what comes to mind? Growing up in Embarrass, I heard the mining company’s name in conversation quite frequently but never beyond that it might open the first copper-nickel mine in Minnesota. With little foundational knowledge of...

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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...

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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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Benjamin Zycher: Earth Day 2020: The Exhaustion of the Climate Left

The following article originally appeared in RealClearMarkets and was written by Benjamin Zycher: “Climate Action” is the theme of this 50th Earth Day, and it is useful to note that these five decades of apocalyptic warnings truly are amazing in their consistency: Not one actually has come to pass. The juxtaposition of two news stories, respectively from 1988 and from last January, is among the more amusing tidbits from decades of climate fearmongering. The former: “A gradual rise in sea level is threatening to completely cover” the Maldives. The latter: “Maldives to open four new airports in 2020.” Amusement aside, the theme this year is a clear sign...

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Montana Regulators Approve New Copper Mine

Montana regulators have approved a new copper mine, known as the Black Butte Copper Project, in Central Montana. The mine is owned by Sandfire Resources America Inc., and the company expects this environmentally-responsible mine to deliver a big economic boost into the local community. According to the company's website, the company expects to employ 240 full-time employees and an additional 50 full-time contractors with annual average wages estimated to be $65,000 per year. If these projections hold true, the company would be the largest employer within a 50 mile radius of the mine. Urban liberals often roll their eyes at the economic...

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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My Trip To the White House

Yesterday I made my first ever trip to the White House to hear President Trump talk about the great progress the United States has made on making sure we have clean air and clean drinking water. This point is incredibly important to make because most Americans seem to think that the environment is always getting worse, when if fact just the opposite is true. The environment in the United States has been improving for decades. https://youtu.be/4XrHi1ldxso?t=2048 President Trump mostly stayed on script, letting several cabinet secretaries talk about the achievements that have been made since the President took office. Despite claims that the...

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Appeals Court Ruling Will Delay Line 3 Replacement, Again

On Monday the Minnesota Court of Appeals stated an environmental review of Enbridge’s controversial Line 3 oil pipeline was “inadequate” because it did not consider the effects of an oil spill in Lake Superior’s watershed, according to the Duluth News Tribune. The ruling is the latest delay in replacing aging oil pipeline, which is operating at half of its potential capacity due to safety concerns. The ruling is bizarre because new pipelines, like new cars, are much safer than their older counterparts. In fact, according to data from the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), since 2010 there have been 1,300...

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