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Clueless Minneapolis City Leaders and Sam Rockwell Are the Problem, Not Natural Gas Use

Elected officials and planners in the city of Minneapolis are lamenting the fact that carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas increased in 2018, and that the city is not on track to meet it's 2050 CO2 emissions targets, according to an article in the Star Tribune. Sam Rockwell, who is the president of the Minneapolis Planning Commission, also wrote to the Strib that natural gas use must be slashed, and encouraged Minneapolis to follow the lead of Berkeley California, and ban the use of natural gas in new construction. However, it is the unrealistic, expensive, and ultimately heartless carbon dioxide emissions...

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Low-Cost Natural Gas Saves Thousands of Lives By Lowering Heating Bills

Natural gas is a powerful resources that is saving thousands of lives every single year. That's the conclusion of a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled "Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality" The abstract of the paper states: This paper examines how the price of home heating affects mortality in the US. Exposure to cold is one reason that mortality peaks in winter, and a higher heating price increases exposure to cold by reducing heating use. It also raises energy bills, which could affect health by decreasing other health-promoting spending. Our empirical approach combines spatial variation in the...

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Xcel Energy CEO Made $26.2 Million in 2018 As Your Electric Bill Reached a New All-Time High

The Star Tribune recently ran a piece announcing that Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke was the third-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2018 with a total pay of $26.2 million for the year. This wouldn't necessarily be outrageous compensation if Xcel Energy were a private company competing for your businesses in a free market, but the fact that Xcel customers are literally forced by the government to buy their electricity from the  government-approved monopoly makes this level of compensation unconscionable. Why does the Xcel CEO get paid so much? According to the Star Tribune: "Fowke’s annual bonus is based on five factors: employee...

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Doubling Down on Failure Installment Two: Generation, Utility Profits, Property Taxes, and Transmission

This article is the second installment explaining the findings of our new study entitled Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.   Today, I’ll break down four main components that drive the cost of our energy system that we explored in our study. As you can see below, generation accounted for 59 percent of the total cost of electricity in the Renewable Scenario, utility profits constituted 22 percent, property taxes accounted for 11 percent, and transmission accounted for 8 percent of the total cost of electricity....

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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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Massive Protests Erupt Across France as Government Ratchets Up Fuel Taxes

Thousands of French police fired tear gas and used water cannons against demonstrators who have been protesting French President Emmanuel Macron's new taxes on diesel fuel, the most popular fuel in France, and gasoline, since the weekend of November 17th. More than 280,000 protesters took to the streets to protest the deeply unpopular tax on its initial weekend. The tax has been a flashpoint because French motorists already pay the equivalent of nearly $7.06 per gallon of fuel, but under the new gas tax championed by the deeply unpopular French President, fuel prices would initially raise diesel prices by 30 cents per gallon, with...

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