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Seven Energy and Environment Takeaways from the Minnesota Elections

Based on information from the Star Tribune's election coverage, it looks like the State Senate may remain in the hands of the Republicans, while the State House of Representatives will remain in the hands of the Democrats. Republicans maintaining an advantage in the Senate has important implications for energy and environmental policy in the state. Here is how the election results affect the seven biggest energy and environment topics in Minnesota. California Car Mandates: The retention of the Senate does nothing to change the Walz Administration's attempt to force Minnesotans to comply with California's car mandates. I would expect the announcement of these...

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Biden’s Mining Stance: *Anonymous* Sources In Reuters Article Tell Us Nothing

The role of mining is looming large in the run-up to the Presidential election next week. This is especially true in Minnesota, which was the 4th largest mining economy in the country in 2019, producing more than $5 billion in the value of minerals produced, according to the United States Geological Survey. Center of the American Experiment's research has shown that developing Minnesota's massive copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, cobalt, and titanium resources could add $5.9 billion to the state's economy and create up to 14,850 new jobs in our state. With so much on the line, it is no surprise mining has...

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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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Can Mining in Minnesota Reduce Child Labor in the Congo?

Cobalt has become a controversial topic in the debate over copper nickel mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex. This metal, which is used in the lithium ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and electric cars, has become a lighting rod because most of the cobalt produced in the world comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where some of the cobalt is mined using child labor. Virtually everyone has a cellphone, laptop, or tablet that has a battery requiring cobalt. This has led many people to ask the question, can mining in Minnesota reduce the demand for unethically mined cobalt in...

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Great News! Twin Metals Submits Its Mine Plan to State and Federal Agencies for Review

Yesterday, Minnesota took another step toward unearthing prosperity when Twin Metals Minnesota formally submitted its mine plan to state and federal agencies for review. According to the Twin Metals press release: "This marks the culmination of more than a decade of engineering, hydrogeological, environmental and engagement work including the evaluation of dozens of project configurations and technologies that maximize environmental protection." "Submission of the project starts a multi-year scoping and environmental review process that will thoroughly evaluate this proposal. The review process will include additional baseline data collection, impact analyses, and multiple opportunities for public input." The move was predictably decried by anti-mining...

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Duluth News Tribune: In Response Column / It’s True: No Waste-Rock Piles, No Acid Mine Drainage at Twin Metals

Twin Metals made waves earlier this year when the company announced they would be using the dry stack tailings storing method, which is considered to be one of the safest way to store mine tailings. While even some anti-mining groups gave a tepid positive response (they seemed like they were caught flat footed, to be honest) other groups continue to contend that copper nickle mining cannot be conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. Julie Padilla of Twin Metals responds to some of these accusations in the Duluth News Tribune. We at Twin Metals always appreciate an opportunity to educate the public on...

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Elizabeth Warren Brings Her Campaign Against Reality to Minnesota

Elizabeth Warren visited Minnesota last week to hold a campaign rally in her bid  to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. At the rally, Warren waded into two highly controversial environmental debates in Minnesota by opposing the replacement of the Line 3 oil pipeline, and voicing her opposition to the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, which would develop the massive reserves of copper, nickel, and other metals like platinum, palladium, and cobalt in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, the policies proposed by Senator Warren represent a continuation of her campaign against reality. Line 3 Minnesotans use a lot of oil. In fact, U.S. Energy Information...

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