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What’s Wrong with Wind and Solar?

Regular readers of Center of the American Experiment understand that wind and solar are expensive, unreliable, and they require massive amounts of metals to generate just a fraction of the energy that we derive from oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute is one of the leading researchers exploring the environmental impacts of wind and solar, and the amount of mining that would be required to be conducted if we were to try and implement the Green Dream, or whatever it's called. Enjoy the video from PragerU. https://youtu.be/RqppRC37OgI...

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DFL Now Formally Supports A Moratorium Banning Copper-Nickel Mining in Minnesota

Last weekend, the DFL party officially adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium banning copper-nickel mining projects in Minnesota, according to the DFL Environmental Caucus's Facebook page. The move is the latest sign that the policies endorsed by the party are moving further toward the agenda's of urban environmentalists and further away from the rural roots of the party that support farmers and laborers. The move is also the latest sign the energy and environmental policies of the party are moving further and further away from reality. Not only does the party platform now officially oppose copper-nickel mining, something mining supporters have...

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Pro-mining DFL senator ousted in August 11 primary

Pro-mining DLFers in Minnesota lost an ally yesterday, as State Senator Erik Simonson lost his primary race to anti-mining political newcomer, Jen McEwen. The results of this primary, along with the replacement of Senator Tom Bakk with Susan Kent as the DFL minority leader, clearly show that the party is moving further away from its roots in rural farming and labor issues, toward favoring urban environmentalists. According to the Duluth News Tribune: The debate over whether copper-nickel sulfide deposits should be mined in the Northland has loomed large in the campaign. "I've tried to come at this from a practical, common-sense standpoint and...

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How Much Metal Would A Minnesota Green New Deal Require? Part Two

Last week I wrote about how converting Minnesota's electrical grid to a combination of nearly 100 percent wind, solar, and battery storage would consume enormous quantities of copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and steel. While that analysis determined that huge amounts of these metals would be needed for "green" electricity, it is important to remember that electricity is only part of the energy equation, and if we wanted to completely get rid of fossil fuel from our energy economy, it would require much more metal. The pie chart below was created using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As you can see,...

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Biden Announces Opposition to Alaskan Pebble Mine, What Does it Mean for Minnesota?

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has declared his opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, which would mine copper, molybdenum, gold, and critical rare earths elements. Biden announced his administration would stop the mine, according to the Anchorage Daily News.  Biden's announcement is bad news for Minnesotans who support copper-nickel mining in Northern Minnesota, because like the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, the Obama Administration preemptively struck down the Pebble Mine without a fair, scientific review. Biden claims that the Obama administration's decision to preempt the Pebble Mine was based on science, but this could not possibly be true. Rather than...

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Illegal Mining Threatens Gorillas in the Congo

In November of 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an opinion piece by the Strib Editorial Board "Not This Mine, Not This Location." The piece sought to lay out why Twin Metals Minnesota should not be allowed to develop the large deposits of copper, nickel, and cobalt because the proposed underground mine would be in the same watershed as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is simply so special that we must not try to manage the environmental risks of mining, we should reject them altogether. Whether the editorial board realizes it or not, their position is the epitome of...

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How much metal would a Minnesota Green New Deal require?

There is an interesting paradox among liberal environmentalists. One the one hand, they want a Minnesota Green New Deal where all the electricity in the state is provided by a combination of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage. On the other hand, they oppose mining for copper, nickel, cobalt, and other metals needed to build these energy sources, even though Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped reserves of these metals in the world. Today, we'll conduct a rough estimate of how much metal would be needed to be completely reliant on wind, solar, and battery storage for electricity generation. Assumptions It's important...

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Global wind turbine fleet to consume over 5.5 million tons of copper by 2028

Fans of renewable energy are often against copper-nickel mining in Minnesota, even though Minnesota contains some of the largest undeveloped copper-nickel deposits in the world, and massive quantities of both of these metals are needed for wind turbines. A new analysis by Wood Mackenzie estimates how much copper would be needed over the next eight years to build wind turbines. Relying on wind power is still a bad idea due to its high cost and low reliability, but those who do advocate for building more wind turbines should be forced to acknowledge the inherent contradiction of their pro-wind/anti-mining position. The following article...

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Metro Democrats Take Aim At Minnesota’s Mining Industry (Again)

Congresswoman Betty McCollum, who represents St. Paul, has once again taken aim at Minnesota's mining industry by inserting language into a federal spending bill that would prevent federal agencies from reviewing mine plans within the Rainy River Watershed and Superior National Forest during the 2021 fiscal year. The measure is a transparent attack on the mine plan proposed by Twin Metals Minnesota, but it would also prevent federal agencies from moving ahead with permitting any iron ore mines, or even gravel quarries, that might seek federal approval to operate a mine. According to the Duluth News Tribune: "None of the funds appropriated or...

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Northeast Minnesota Has Lost 10,500 Tourism-Related Jobs Since March 16th

Mining opponents in Minnesota often argue that instead of developing some of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper and nickel in the world, Northeastern Minnesotans should instead focus on creating jobs in the tourism industry. Unfortunately, this is an argument for widespread unemployment in the era of COVID-19, because according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MNDEED), the Northeast economic planning region has seen 10,500 job losses in sectors of the economy that are the most related to the tourism industry, including food and beverage service workers, retail sales workers, cooks and food preparation workers, and other service...

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