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Minnesota legislators agree on first major energy bill in years

May 18, 2021 Star Tribune Mike Hughlett The Minnesota House and Senate agreed this week on expanding the state’s energy conservation program, the most significant energy legislation in recent years. The Energy Conservation and Optimization Act should increase spending by utilities on conservation programs, particularly to low-income households. Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign…

Utility bills are hitting Minnesotans harder than ever

March 22, 2021 MPR Angela Davis and Katie Moritz There’s almost nothing the devastation of the pandemic hasn’t touched. That includes everyday things like bills and Minnesotans’ ability to pay them. During the pandemic, more Minnesotans have struggled to pay utility bills. The number of overdue bills in the state and the dollar amount of…

Xcel, environmentalists square off over planned gas-fired power plant

March 6, 2021 Star Tribune Mike Hughlett The rise of natural gas-fired power was long welcomed — or at least accepted — by both utilities and clean-energy groups. Gas vanquished coal, cutting both carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity costs. But to renewable-energy advocates, gas’ days are numbered — at least as far as building…

Xcel’s 15-year energy plan offers opportunities to address environmental racism in Minnesota. Immigrant activists are determined to make it happen.

February 26, 2021 Sahan Journal Andrew Hazzard Making 100 percent of the state’s energy carbon-free by 2040; protecting waterways to create more sustainable food production; investing in green infrastructure. These are just a few of the proposals from the DFL-led State House of Representatives that have environmental activists buzzing.  But a divided state Legislature–Democrats control…

Could Minnesota suffer a Texas-size energy grid failure?

February18, 2021 Sahan Journal Andrew Hazzard The massive power outages in Texas from extreme cold are unlikely to occur in Minnesota, but parts of the state have been hit by rolling blackouts due to high demand on energy grids.  Controlled blackouts hit Moorhead this week, leaving residents without power for bouts lasting about 30 minutes,…

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