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The Bad: Senate’s Clean Energy First Bill Would Probably Be A Blank Check to Xcel Energy

Yesterday, I wrote about The Good aspects of the Minnesota State Senate's Clean Energy First bill. Today I'll talk about The Bad aspects, and tomorrow I'll suggest ways to amend the legislation to make sure Minnesota families and businesses are not paying higher costs as a result of the bill. The Bad As a result of legalizing new nuclear, large hydro, and carbon capture and sequestration technology, the Clean Energy First bill could reduce more emissions for less cost than wind, solar, and battery storage. While this sounds great in theory, the legislation also contains problematic provisions that will essentially be a blank...

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South Carolina Has Much Lower CO2 Emissions and Lower Electricity Prices Than Minnesota

Liberal politicians in Minnesota love to pretend that they are leaders in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, which they claim are fueling an existential climate crisis. The data, however, shows that conservative South Carolina has much lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of electricity produced and lower electricity prices than Minnesota. The reason? South Carolina embraces nuclear power, whereas Minnesota liberals eschew it. According to the data, emissions of CO2 are 40 percent lower in South Carolina, per unit of electricity generated, than they are in Minnesota, according to the graph below which was constructed using 2018 data from the...

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This Year in Energy and Environment: 2019 Edition

With 2020 upon us, I'd like to reflect back on 2019 because it was a banner year for energy and environmental issues here at Center of the American Experiment. Here are some of the highlights from each month. In January, American Experiment submitted comments to the U.S. Forest Service in support of the lease renewal for the Twin Metals Minnesota mine. Since then Twin Metals has submitted its mine plan to state and federal agencies for review. We also covered the fact that wind and solar were not working during Polar Vortex in real time, highlighting the dangers of relying upon...

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Spare the Electric Space Heater (and Turn Up the Gas) to Save Money and Keep Warm this Winter

This article was written by me and originally appeared in the Monticello Times: Winter has come, and that means college students will be looking for ways to keep warm without breaking the bank. A common way students seek to do this is by using electric space heaters, but in general, using space heaters is more expensive than turning up the thermostat on your natural-gas powered furnace. Space heaters can be more affordable than gas if they are only being used in one or two small rooms while the rest of the house is cool, but beyond that they are much more expensive to...

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Our Perspective: Minnesota’s Days of Cheaper Electricity Seem Numbered

This weekend, Mike Hughlett of the Star Tribune wrote an excellent article entitled "Minnesota's Days of Cheaper Electricity Seem Numbered," which details how Minnesota electricity prices have increased substantially in the last 15 years. The piece is an important acknowledgement that the energy policies pursued in Minnesota are causing electricity costs to rise, an argument Center of the American Experiment has been making since late 2017. I have included portions of the article below and added additional  commentary to provide more context to help readers understand the topic in a more comprehensive manner. The article begins below: "Hefty rate hikes that Minnesota’s...

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Long Island Liberals Wake Up to How Green Extremism Hurts Constituents

Renewable energy groups like Fresh Energy are encouraging the City of Minneapolis to follow the precedent set by the City of Berkeley in California by banning natural gas in new construction within the City to limit carbon dioxide emissions. This would be an incredibly bad idea, as liberal State Senators in New York, which has banned fracking for natural gas and opposed natural gas pipelines, are now finding out. It appears reality is crashing down on liberal elected officials in the Empire state, where the natural gas shortages they caused are threatening public safety and the state's economic growth. According to...

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California Forced to Subsidize Natural Gas Plants to Prevent Widespread Blackouts

Wind and solar are often touted as a way of reducing our electricity bills, and our dependence on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. However, the experience of California shows that these talking points are flat out wrong. There is no question that California has some of the most aggressive mandates for renewable energy production in the country. The state recently adopted a 100 percent "clean" energy mandate b 2045, with 60 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030. A new law requires all new houses built in the Golden State to have solar panels on...

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Solar Power is Increasing Pollution in North Carolina, According to Utility Data

Wind and solar are often touted as "clean" sources of energy, but the evidence showing that this simply isn't true is mounting. From large landfills used to dispose of the (non-recyclable) blades of wind turbines, to toxic chemicals used to make solar panels, to fears about wind companies abandoning their wind turbines after they are no longer useful, the "green" veneer is fading. Now, it appears there is hard data clearly demonstrating that solar power is contributing to higher levels of air pollution in North Carolina, which has the second-most solar of any state in the country. This probably sounds counter-intuitive at...

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St. Paul Green Party Mayoral Candidate’s Paper Straw Response to my PiPress Article Doesn’t Hold Up

Last week I had an opinion editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press discussing how Minnesota's foray into wind and solar has led to higher electricity costs for no measurable environmental benefits. This prompted Elizabeth Dickinson, the former Green Party mayoral candidate for St. Paul to write a letter accusing me of using cherry-picked data. However, upon further scrutiny, the logic she uses in her letter to the editor holds up as well as paper straws. This sort of accusation is commonplace, but it does not make it correct. I've posted her letter below with my own thoughts about the points made...

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Navy Times: Coal is the Most Reliable Source of Electricity for Our Military

Yesterday I wrote about how oil, not wind and solar, is the most important source of energy for our military. Today I'd like to delve deeper into the electricity sector because having access to reliable electricity is incredibly important for our military, especially as technology continues to play a larger and larger role in keeping America safe. Renewable energy advocates sometimes argue that wind and solar make our country safer, but it is hard to imagine any way that intermittent, unreliable sources of electricity could meaningfully improve our national security in a way that coal, natural gas, and nuclear power cannot. The reason...

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