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Another One Bites the Dust: Wisconsin Wind Farm Decommissioned After Just 20 Years

An industrial wind facility in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin has been decommissioned after just 20 years of service because the turbines are no longer cost effective to maintain and operate. The decommissioning of the 14 turbines took many people by surprise, even local government officials and the farmer who had five of the turbines on his property. Why Are We So Surprised? What's really surprising about these wind turbines being decommissioned after 20 years is the is the fact that people were surprised by it. You'd be astonished at how many people I talk to that have no idea that wind turbines only last for 20...

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When Will Fair Trade Coffee Drinkers Embrace Fair Trade Cobalt?

Copper, nickel, and cobalt mining is a controversial topic in Minnesota, but is it more controversial than child labor? Like it or not, we all use these metals for nearly every aspect of our modern lives, and if we do not mine them in Minnesota, where we have strong protections for workers and the environment, we will import these metals from countries that don’t....

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A Little Math Shows Switching to Natural Gas Will Probably Increase Fuel Costs for Minnesota Ratepayers

It's a common refrain for energy policy: it is cheaper to generate electricity from natural gas than coal. In some respects this is true, but power plant efficiency and fuel prices are important variables we should consider before we completely shutter Minnesota's coal fleet in favor of renewables and natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants are more efficient than coal plants because they use the heat produced as gas is burned to make 50 percent more electricity. It's hard to explain, so I've included a video below. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ4yp_0Djvc#action=share[/embed] However, not all natural gas plants are combined cycle plants, and many of the...

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High Electricity Prices Cripple Australian Manufacturers, Is Minnesota Next?

Companies throughout Australia are reconsidering whether they will indeed bring manufacturing jobs back from China after experiencing enormous increases in electricity prices as a result of the closure of an enormous coal-fired power plant and government regulations that mandate the use of "green power." For example, according to the Financial Review: Hardware manufacturer Alchin Long Group in Sydney's west has had to agree to a near-doubling of its electricity price, said Graham Lee, national operations manager. The price of the new two-year contract from Origin Energy has surged from $55.30 per megawatt-hour to $109.70 . Aluminium scrap processor Weston Aluminium, which uses about...

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Fracking, Not Renewables, Is the True Energy Revolution of Our Time

Fracking shows what a technological disruption in the energy truly looks like, a rapid adoption of new technology that lowers prices for consumers regardless of the hurdles placed in front of it by governments and attempts to squash it by vested players in established industries like OPEC.  Fracking also shows us what technological disruptions don't look like, and wind and solar fit this bill. Despite decades of subsidies and tens of billions of squandered taxpayer dollars, and state laws requiring their use, these sources of energy simply cannot compete in terms of reliability or affordability of fossil fuels. ...

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High Industrial Electricity Prices Harm Manufacturing Sector

We often hear from so-called progressives that we must fight income inequality and move toward renewable energy, but the problem is these two goals are incompatible with each other. This is because intermittent sources of renewable energy like wind and solar make electricity more expensive, and expensive electricity hurts the blue-collar industries like manufacturing and mining, which use an enormous amount of electricity. Just look at California, which has enacted a 100 percent carbon-free energy mandate that will continue to send electricity prices soaring. In fact, industrial electricity prices in California are nearly twice as high as in the rest of the...

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Biased Much? Why Is the Star-Tribune Using a Misleading Photo of The Proposed PolyMet Mine?

Gee, I wonder how the folks over at the StarTribune feel about the DNR's decision to grant the needed Permit to Mine for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine. Oh wait, the picture they selected for their website shows their hand, among other things. There is no question that passions run high on both sides of the mining debate in Minnesota, but the Strib's decision to publish a photo of the old LTV Taconite facility, which has sat idle since 2001, and label it the PolyMet Mine is incredibly shoddy journalism that does not give readers a fair impression of what the facility will...

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Center of the American Experiment Holds Pro-Mining Rally in Duluth

The original article appeared here, on KBJR6.  DULUTH, MN – The Center of the American Experiment hosted a rally Monday night to demonstrate the public’s support for mining in the state of Minnesota. The organization is known for doing research and producing papers on Minnesota’s economy, education, health care, and more, and discussed one of their most recent mining studies at Monday’s rally. In the conclusion of that report, it says that Minnesota can have a healthy environment while still being able to mine, and, in doing so, would add more than 8,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion dollars in state annual economic...

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Will Global Warming Destroy Us All? Probably Not

We often hear that global warming will eventually be the end to all of us. The message is pervasive, and it has been trumpeted again by a newly-released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. While renewable energy advocates, anti-pipeline activists, and others attempt to use global warming as a "trump card," when lobbying for government policies and mandates for their preferred sources of energy, its important to look at whether these claims are supported by the scientific evidence, especially as President Trump has removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accord (not a treaty), and rescinded...

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