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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Seven: Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

During the Democrat debate between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow “no new fracking” as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, banning fracking would cause  greenhouse gas emissions from Minnesota power plants to increase by approximately 25 percent above estimated 2019 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions would increase because a fracking ban would triple the cost of generating electricity with natural gas, making it impossibly expensive to use. As a result, Minnesota utilities would likely return to burning more coal to generate electricity, which emits...

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Minnesota Had More Wind and Solar in 2018 than Ever Before But CO2 Emissions Went Up

Minnesota had more wind turbines and solar panels in 2018 than in any year prior, but carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity generation sector increased compared to 2017 and 2016 levels, according to the most recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Share the news far and wide!...

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Wind Power Purchase Agreement Prices Rise 44 Percent in MISO from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019

It looks like the fairy tales of endless declines in the cost of wind power are meeting an unpleasant reality. A recent study has found that the cost of wind power bought through power purchase agreements (PPAs) from independent power producers (IPPs) is increasing in the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator  (MISO) footprint, which includes Minnesota and 13 other states and one Canadian province. According to the report: “In Q3, the MISO market was the primary contributor, with a $4+ rise in prices, amounting to a 19% increase." The graph below is from the report and it shows wind PPA prices increasing from about...

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Three Things Xcel Energy Doesn’t Want You to Know About Their Massive Increase in Electricity Prices

Xcel Energy recently announced its intention to impose a massive 15.2 percent increase in electricity prices in Minnesota over the course of three years to pay for a $466 million spending spree that will pay for wind turbines, transmission lines, distribution system and nuclear plant upgrades, higher corporate profits, and erase customer savings from energy efficiency. However, the 15.3 percent is just an average. In fact, the government-approved monopoly utility is seeking to raise residential electricity rates by 17.75 percent, representing a massive increase in electricity costs for Minnesota families. Here are three things Xcel Energy doesn't want you to know...

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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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Fresh Energy Is Still Intentionally Misleading Minnesotans on Energy Issues: Part One – Electricity Rates

Fresh Energy, a renewable energy advocacy organization, continues to mislead Minnesotan’s on energy issues – and it appears they don’t appreciate our work explaining how wind and solar are driving up the cost of electricity in our state....

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Minnesota Citizen’s Utility Board Harms Ratepayers By Advocating For Bad Policy

It is clear that the Citizens Utility Board is either unwilling or unable to advocate for the policies that will actually reduce costs for consumers. Center of the American Experiment is the leading advocate for energy consumers in Minnesota, and we can say that utilizing Minnesota's existing coal-fired power plants for the foreseeable future is the single-best way to keep our energy bills low, not adding unreliable and expensive sources like wind and solar. ...

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Xcel Energy Property Taxes Soar 131.6 Percent Since Minnesota Began Mandating Renewable Energy – Ratepayers are Stuck with the Bill

We at American Experiment often write about how wind and solar energy cause nearly every aspect of the energy grid to be more expensive, but one aspect of this story we have not yet covered is the role wind and solar play on increasing property taxes. Property taxes constitute approximately 6 percent of your electric bill, as utility companies are allowed to pass these expenses directly on to their consumers. As property taxes rise, so does the amount you pay for electricity each month. As renewable energy sources increase on the grid, so do the property tax expenses that ratepayers are stuck...

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