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Metro To Miners: You’ll Have to Do Something Else

A recent story in Politco  entitled "Minnesota on the edge: 'I've voted Democrat my whole life. It's getting tougher," details how the political leanings of Minnesotans on the Iron Range, who had traditionally leaned toward the DFL, are beginning to shift. The shift is occurring because a significant number of people living on The Range feel that the party has become more focused on its urban constituency, which has lost touch with the pro-labor, pro-mining constituencies on The Range. Energy and environmental issues are at the forefront of the diverging interests of urban liberals and blue-collar workers up North. Urban greens,...

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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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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Six: Impossibly Expensive Electricity

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.” However, banning fracking would cause the cost of generating electricity with natural gas to skyrocket by tripling the cost. As a result, places like Minnesota would either see utilities switch back to coal-fired power plants, or if Xcel Energy gets to fully implement it's plan to shut down coal-fired power plants before the end of their useful lifetime and replace them wind, solar, and natural gas, Minnesota families will be shocked at...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Four: Holy $1,325 Heating Bill Increase, Batman!

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,” but such a policy would cause the heating bill for the average Minnesota household to increase by about $1,330 every year because fracking is crucial for natural gas production. This article is the fourth installment in this series. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, "What if Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?," a fracking ban would cause natural gas prices to increase from $1.80 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) today, to $12...

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Coronavirus Aid Package Fails Because Liberal Democrats Want Green New Deal, Student Debt Forgiveness

This weekend, a $1.6 trillion spending planned aimed at reducing the economic strain Americans will feel due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus failed to pass out of the Senate because it wasn't the Green New Deal, and because it did not include provisions for student loan forgiveness. These two aspects apparently made the package a deal breaker for House and Senate Democrats in Washington, D.C. Green New Deal, or No Deal One of the demands being made by House Democrats in a draft proposal are requirements for airline companies that receive financial assistance to offset 100 percent of their carbon dioxide emissions by...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Three: A $3,000 Pain at the Pump for Minnesota Families

During the Democrat debate on Sunday, March 15, 2020, between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden, Vice-President Biden stated that he would allow "no new fracking." However, banning "new fracking" would have incredibly bad  consequences for the whole country because it would greatly increase the cost of gasoline, causing a big pain at the pump for Minnesota families. This article is the third installment in this series. Higher Costs for Gasoline According to a 2016 study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entitled "What if Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?" a national fracking ban would cause gasoline prices to...

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Minnesota Electricity Rates Increased Again in 2019, Reaching New All-Time Highs

Newly-released data from the United States Energy Information Administration show that electricity rates in Minnesota increased again in 2019, reaching new all-time highs. The increase in electricity costs affected all classes of consumers, resulting in higher costs for families, businesses, and factories. It didn't used to be this way. In fact, Minnesota once had electricity prices that were nearly 20 percent below the national average, but since 2005, when Xcel Energy was required to start adding significant amounts of wind on its system, electricity prices have increased by nearly 60 percent, which is about 30 percent more than the national average,...

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Coronavirus-Induced Shortage of Solar Panel Components Highlights China’s Major Role in Solar Supply Chain

Last week, the Star Tribune ran a story about how the Coronavirus has disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, potentially causing the delay of two large solar installations in Wisconsin. The supply-chain interruptions have occurred because of factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China, highlighting the major role that China has plays in the solar supply chain. According to the article: "Asia, and particularly China, is the globe’s primary supplier of solar cells and panels, and is also a major source of inverters and racking system components. Racks hold solar panels in place; inverters convert panels’ DC current into AC. Also, about...

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Efforts to Prevent The Walz Administration’s California Car Mandates Advance in the Senate

Today was a step forward for the efforts of conservative lawmakers to prevent the Walz administration from imposing unpopular California car mandates on Minnesotans. Senate File 3496 passed out of the Minnesota Senate's State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. You can watch the hearing on the bill at the link below. https://www.facebook.com/mnsrc/videos/2275278436108528/?comment_id=2275304272772611&notif_id=1583437629234897&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic   I've previously testified in front of the Senate on this bill, explaining why it would be beneficial for Minnesota consumers. I also detailed that while the costs would be significant, the environmental benefits would be immeasurably small. It is encouraging to see that the Walz administration's attempt to...

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Despite More Turbines, Minnesota Wind Production in 2019 Was Still Below 2017 Levels

If you build them, the wind won't necessarily come. I've recently reported that wind facilities in Minnesota produced less electricity in 2018 than 2017, and newly-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows electricity generation from Minnesota wind facilities was about one percent less in 2019 than 2017, although 2019 saw more generation from wind turbines than 2018. The decline, relative to 2017 generation, occurred despite the fact that there are about 3.6 percent more wind generation capacity installed in Minnesota today (3,843 megawatts) than there were at the end of 2017 (3,699 megawatts), according to the U.S. Department of Energy's...

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