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Forbes: To Fight The Coronavirus, The World Returns To Fossil Fuels

The article below appeared in Forbes, and it does a good job of summarizing how many of the policies advocated by environmental activists harm human safety in times like the Coronavirus outbreak. Ideas like banning single-use plastic bags in favor of forcing people to use resusable bags may sound good on a bumper sticker, but the science, indicates these policies leave people at greater health risks by facilitating the spread of pathogens. Ditto for energy. Even putting cost aside, which is an enormous aside, the idea that wind, solar, and battery storage alone will be able to deliver the same degree of reliability that...

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Our Perspective: New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Star Tribune ran a story entitled "New Suburban Solar Projects Part of a Wave of New Projects in Minnesota." The article discusses businesses that claim the solar panels installed at their facilities will offset significant amounts of their electricity use, and will have a three to five year payback periods. Energy issues are complex, and the solar industry has a strong financial interest in only presenting the "sunny" side of their industry without discussing the negative consequences that stem from adding solar to the grid. Unfortunately, the article could have have been more balanced by explaining...

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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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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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Darling, is the Wind Blowing? I’d Like to Go to the Hospital For COVID-19

Last year, President Trump mocked the unreliability of wind power at the Conservative Political Action Conference stating, "Darling, is the wind blowing today? I'd like to watch television." While the President's jabs were directed at watching television, the unreliable nature of wind and solar power makes them ill-suited to providing reliable, affordable electricity for our nation's hospitals when they need it most. For example, earlier this week, the wind wasn't blowing very well. In fact, data from the regional grid operator show wind was producing just 12.87 percent of its potential, meaning coal, nuclear, and natural gas power plants were needed...

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What Would a Joe Biden Fracking Ban Look Like? Part Two: Devastating Economic Impacts

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," and touted his role in spending $90 billion on the solar industry as part of the Obama administration's stimulus package. As I explained in Part One of this series, banning "new fracking" is essentially the same thing as banning all fracking. Such a bad policy would have devastating economic impacts for the entire country. According to a 2016 study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce entitled "What if Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?"...

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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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Xcel Energy Provides Strong Testimony Against the Community Solar Program

I have a lot of policy disagreements with Xcel Energy, but I firmly believe it is important to give credit when credit is due. The video below is from last week, and it shows Rick Evans of Xcel Energy testifying about the huge inefficiencies related to the Community Solar program. Evans makes many of the same arguments Center of the American Experiment makes about wind and solar every day. https://youtu.be/I-jPAY1wL-4?t=3431 Evans states: "Our customers are required to pay triple the cost of solar energy, in an unlimited quantity, that comes on to our system regardless of whether we need it or not. First of...

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