Reduce Energy Costs for Families!

Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan Have Led an Ideological Crusade Against Energy Production, Hurting Minnesota Families. We have a Plan.

The Plan

Basic things we took for granted before Tim Walz and Joe Biden took office like available power, affordable groceries, ability to drive our cars and safe streets are being extremely challenged on a daily basis. In addition, energy is driving up the cost of living and is one of the leading causes of inflation, of which my plan will directly combat. We cannot follow the Walz policy of hapless inaction, lack of planning, forced and unrealistic mandates, shuttering power plants and incompetent bureaucracy that has led to this crisis. I will lead and I will act. Here is our plan:

  • Lift the Nuclear Moratorium

    Lift the moratorium on the ability to build any additional nuclear plants. Current law bans permitting or allowance of new nuclear facilities, which are environmentally clean and emit much less waste than previous plants. New technology for Generation IV mini-nuclear plants have on-site waste recycling and safeguards. Small modular reactor technology is actionable right now and warrants immediate consideration.

  • Suspend Radical California Car Mandates

    Suspend and repeal the new California based car mandates that will increase the price of cars, task the already overburdened electrical grid and make Minnesota uncompetitive.

  • Eliminate Red Tape and Artificial Hurdles

    Issue an executive order to the Departments of Commerce and Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to cooperate with private sector energy providers to identify regulations, permits and licenses that inhibit the ability to produce, procure and distribute energy and report within 90 days so the legislature can expedite and pass needed legislation before the conclusion of the 2023 session. Order the Commissioner of Commerce to reorganize the Department with experts who understand base load power, supply and demand of energy, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) energy grid and bring professional expertise to the department instead of political appointees from special interest groups. This also would include gubernatorial screening and appointments to the Public Utilities Commission.

  • Assess the Base Load and Retirements

    Order a Department of Commerce assessment and determination of the retirement of base load power sources in Minnesota, while consulting and collaborating with power companies. Currently, power plants in Becker, Oak Park Heights and other locations around the state are scheduled to close in this decade, thereby reducing available power, forcing the construction of new and expensive transmission lines and laying off hundreds of workers while devastating those community’s workforces and tax base. Does it make any sense to shutter incumbent power plants when there is a need for electrical power in the state?

  • Tap Existing Resources

    Immediately tap the Renewable Development Fund (RDF) for projects to create Minnesota-based energy sources. The fund is separate from the general fund, contains $50 million to $100 million and is available for the legislature and governor to utilize for energy needs of which are contained in Jensen’s plan.

  • Finish Hydro Projects and Leverage Them

    Finish the hydro turbine in Granite Falls and investigation into utilization of clean hydro in other similar, usable Minnesota waterways. Hydro power has received broad, bipartisan support in Minnesota.

  • Use our Wood!

    Build effective public-private partnerships to develop wood pellet energy from unused wood residual products in northern Minnesota and development of methane digesters in rural Minnesota to capture and produce energy.

  • Continue Partnerships and make them Better

    Maintain and continue public-private partnerships for wind and solar development, as part of an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy.

  • Bring in the Experts

    Order the Commissioner of Commerce to reorganize the Department with experts who understand base load power, supply and demand of energy, the MISO energy grid and bring professional expertise to the department instead of political appointees from special interest groups. This also would include gubernatorial screening and appointments to the Public Utilities Commission.
    We also must study and develop Advanced Energy Storage - such as Hydrogen (H2), NH3 (ammonia) and pumped hydro. When paired with wind, which is a resource that is abundant at night and consumption is at its lowest, this can be a game changer for energy. It can also be paired with nuclear so that we are never wasting energy or not producing at full capacity. This would also include research and development for H2 fuel cell technology for transportation uses.

  • Rebate and Credit Excess Dollars

    After utilization of needed funds for energy sources, rebate and credit excess Renewable Development Fund (RDF) dollars to rate payers to combat high energy prices Minnesotans are paying.

Questions and Answers

Question: Isn’t this more of a multi-state problem that the Governor has little to do with?

Answer: Indeed it’s a multi-state problem because the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) grid reaches into other states.  The experts have said that we will likely be short 5 gigawatts of power in our state and region on a hot day.  There has been little planning from the Walz Administration.  We’ve seen nothing but more mandates for electric cars, which is going to make the problem worse because we don’t have enough energy right now to run the basics of our grid.  Several base load power plants are schedule to close and there’s been no creative discussions or leadership on actually solving the problem.  Minnesota can be a leader on energy for ourselves and our neighboring states.  As in every issue, this is about leadership.

Question: Does spending money on this plan break your promise to “give it all back” on the surplus

Answer: Absolutely not.  We have $50 million to $100 million that’s in the Renewable Development Fund that’s unutilized.  That’s off budget from the surplus and general fund and is intended to be used for exactly situations like this.

Question:  How much does this plan cost?

Answer: The short answer is we believe there’s enough money in the RDF to pay for our initiatives.  Some items like finishing up the Granite Falls Hydro Generator is less than $3 million.  Public Private Partnerships on a wood pellet plant is $10 million to $20 million.  The private sector, public utilities and others have capital, generation and transmission dollars built into their budgets.  The average Minnesotan expects to have electricity turn on when they flip their switch.  This impacts everything from nursing homes, to farms to manufacturing to individuals.  I’m not an absolute libertarian that thinks government should do nothing and you should procure your own energy.  Government plays a role to make sure this system can work.  It has been mandating, prohibiting and regulating to the point of creating this crisis.

Question: What do you do with the nuclear waste if the moratorium is lifted?

Answer:  First, if you look at the link we provided from the Office of Nuclear Energy in Washington, the emission of waste is much, much less than current technology. On site waste recycling minimizes much of the waste compared to old technology and this is happening in Europe right now. We want to have a conversation to see if these make sense and work with the legislature on it.  Current law with a nuclear moratorium doesn’t even allow a discussion to take place. Let’s see what other states and first world countries are doing and model after their success.

Question: How much more energy do you believe is needed to fulfill capacity?

Answer:  The professionals that operate the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) grid are telling us that we could be 3 gigawatts short of needed electrical capacity on a hot day in just the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) grid territory that services a large portion of Minnesota.  That means our goal should be to at least meet that demand.  We shouldn’t be faced with critical levels of alert like the citizens in Detroit Lakes (article attached), where they have to plan out whether to shut down residential areas in the afternoon and give uncertainty to businesses.  No one will want to open a business in this state, live or retire here if they believe that they won’t have basic electricity needs met.  It’s an abject failure on the Walz Administration to not have properly planned for this. In fact, a lot of their plans have caused this problem.

Question: Are you blaming Tim Walz for things out of his control?

Answer: He’s had four years to prepare for this.  He’s had appointment authority to hire the best and brightest who professionally understand energy.  Base load plants are scheduled to close under his watch.  He’s worked on mandating that more electrical energy be used when we have a shortfall of electrical energy right now.  That makes no sense. The average Minnesotan isn’t dumb enough to believe that there’s no responsibility from the administration, both federally and nationally.  What’s next? Blaming Ukraine for lack of electricity?  The buck stops at the top.

Question: These new technologies seem complicated.  Why should we pursue them?

Answer: We want studies and development of advanced energy sources and fuels to keep Minnesota at the cutting edge.  As we all know, technology changes.  We want energy and fuel to be affordable, reliable and clean.  Many of these new technologies will put Minnesota as a leader once again.  The last four years have been nothing but a reactive, wandering lack of leadership with unrealistic and expensive goals that yield very little results.  The California Car Mandates are a prime example of trying to dump thousands of electric vehicles in Minnesota with not enough charging stations, a lack of available electrical supply on our grid and little consumer demand. This is especially acute with our cold temperatures and in rural Minnesota where long drives are the norm.

Question: How do you stop the California Car Mandate?

Answer: We will use whatever tools we have to protect Minnesotans from out of state mandates created by an out of touch Governor.  If the rules are not fully submitted to the State Register, they can be vetoed under Chapter 14 of the Administrative Procedures Act.  If they are fully adopted, we would declare them obsolete and order the MPCA to discard them as such under Chapter 14.  If that isn’t allowed, we will work with the legislature to repeal them legislatively.

References and Documentation: 

MPR Interview about lack of preparation from Walz Administration: https://mprnews.org/episode/2022/06/14/as-temperature-climbs-is-minnesota-in-danger-of-blackouts-this-summer

Detroit Lakes Newspaper article about possible blackouts in western Minnesota: https://dl-online.com/news/local/monday-is-going-to-be-a-tough-day-dl-utilities-manager-says-rolling-blackouts-possible-this-summer

Article about power shortages and blackouts: Below zero blackouts? – American Experiment

News Release about closure of energy plants: https://www.mnsenaterepublicans.com/sen-mathews-and-rep-mekeland-call-on-xcel-energy-to-stop-the-closure-of-the-sherco-coal-plants-and-preserve-minnesotas-energy-supply/

Office of Nuclear Energy link on benefits of Small Modular Reactors (SMR’s): https: www.energy.gov/ne/benefits-small-modular-reactors-smrs

Link to new nuclear technology: Advantages of Mini Nuclear Power Plants – Bright Hub Engineering

Details of electric capacity shortfalls: Summertime … and the risk of blackouts is high – American Experiment

Information about H2 technology: H2 Energy

Information about NH3 energy technology: Introduction to NH3 Fuel – NH3 Fuel Association

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