Clean Is Right!
May 2018
MN Conservative Energy Newsletter
Minute with Mike

Greetings Folks!

At the end of April, Chair Amy Koch, Nick and I attended the Conservative Energy Network's semi-annual policy conference, known as "Conclave." This year, the event was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Conclave is a refreshing reminder of the progress being made across the country in changing the energy narrative among conservatives by promoting free market principles, and educating conservatives on evolving distributed, clean and renewable energy technology. Just as in previous years, we returned having made new contacts ready to help amplify our narrative, and new ideas we can't wait to implement here in Minnesota.

One of the big ideas was presented by our colleagues from Michigan and Ohio. They partnered over the last year on an innovative data modeling project among conservatives in those states, helping to debunk the myth that conservatives are a monolithic block of voters who share one - contrary - opinion on energy policy. Their project helped to identify conservative supporters and the messages that resonated with various blocs of voters. MNCEF is working to organize a similar campaign to identify supporters, engage them in the ongoing policy discussion, and create a resource for those who might wish to appeal to "clean energy conservatives." 

Many of our sister organizations reported tremendous success with their various events, which engage conservative thought leaders and policymakers, in addition to representatives from industry and leading energy customers. We look forward to resuming our public event calendar in the later portion of 2018 and into 2019.

At the same time, MNCEF will continue to do the little things that build strong, long-lasting coalitions here in Minnesota. We continue to challenge organizations that harm conservative policymakers by promoting poorly informed narratives which fail to resonate even among our own allies. MnCEF is increasingly active within conservative circles to change the energy debate, and we are providing policymakers with information and accurate facts in order to make informed policy decisions. 

Please donate in order for us to continue our activities, and we are excited to move forward in strong position into the rest of the election year and beyond.  

Clean is right...
More to come!

Mike Franklin
President, MN Conservative Energy Forum

Republican, Independent Voters Encourage Competition for Utilities, More Clean Energy

MNCEF released survey data that demonstrated conservative and independent voters in Congressional Districts 1, 2, and 3 overwhelmingly support public policies that pursue an "all of the above" energy strategy, encourage more choices for business and consumers from where they obtain energy, and growth in clean energy to encourage job growth and spur innovation.
An overwhelming 73 percent say they would encourage a Republican candidate to pursue an "all of the above" energy strategy that increases renewable energy use, lowers fossil fuel reliance, and supports energy efficiency initiatives.
"This poll confirms our belief that conservatives can and should lead on clean energy issues, by getting government out of the way and letting the marketplace work, wherever possible" said Mike Franklin, President, MNCEF. "The poll clearly shows that conservatives support clean energy, competition, choices, and efficiency."

OPINION: Minnesota grid would benefit from a diversified energy portfolio

While the answer to our grid security problem is complicated, the right policies must include not only further investment in microgrid technologies and growth of distributed generation systems, but an increasingly diversified energy portfolio and a competitive marketplace for energy. 

-OpEd by MNCEF President Mike Franklin and Reason Foundation Vice President of Policy Adrian Moore

NEWS: In Michigan, A Conservative Energy Playbook Emerges

A great recap of the conference hosted by the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum and the Conservative Energy Network in Lansing, Michigan. Their goals to debunk cost myths, support market access for independent producers, alert legislators to the popularity of renewables, and support pro-energy choice and competition at this conference are tremendous. We look forward to proactively advancing some of these same issues here in Minnesota. There is a national movement to demonstrate that cleaner is cheaper and the free market can improve quality and decrease costs.

Link to full article here  
ICYMI: A Bailout for Nuclear Power Plants Would Be An Economic Explosion

This piece from American Enterprise Institute scholar and Economics Professor Mark Perry which ran in The Daily Caller nails a number of key concerns about the "blank check" bill being forwarded by Xcel Energy.

"Although [Xcel's application] would be handled in the same way as a traditional rate case, the approval process would actually weaken PUC's power by allowing Xcel to get approval up front for future expenses, in effect giving Xcel a blank check."

This is not about nuclear. Just the same as last year it wasn't about natural gas. Or eleven years ago, it wasn't about wind and solar. It's about how decisions are made. Perhaps it's time to take a long look at the way we determine how risk in the utility marketplace is managed.

Link to full article here 

Carbon taxes should be revenue-neutral and should fund improvements to the energy grid. Many young conservatives are working on these proposals because they understand the Ronald Reagan quote "if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it." 
NEWS: MnCEF attends Conservative Energy Network Conclave V

MNCEF Chair Amy Koch, President Mike Franklin and Program Director Nick Morgan attended Conservative Conclave V hosted by the Conservative Energy Network (CEN) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thirteen chapters attended to focus on the theme of the conference, Developing our Right Flank. The attendees listened to speakers from Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and best practices presentations from fellow attendees.

It was a great opportunity to meet fellow Conservatives looking to change the narrative on Renewable Energy, as well as working to bring free market principles back to the energy sector. In addition, it was an opportunity to share ideas and strategies for improving our action, education, and policy initiatives for the rest of 2018. 

If you would like to learn more about the Conservative Energy Network, please click here.
MNCEF Active on Podcasts and Radio
Nick Morgan and Mike Franklin were active promoting the MNCEF message on Podcasts and Radio. MNCEF welcomes any opportunity to discuss an all of the above energy policy and bringing free market principles to our state's energy market.

To Listen to Nick Morgan
Up and 'At Em with Jack and Ben
"Closing Argument" with Walter Hudson
Kip and Max Save the World!
To Listen to Mike Franklin
Americans for Prosperity Radio with Jason Flohrs (4.28.18, Start at 35:00)
MNCEF Responds to Misleading Center of the American Experiment Critique

On April 13th, MNCEF responded to unwarranted and misleading criticism from the Center of the American Experiment. In short, our response reiterated conservatives' support for free market energy generation policies and encourage the development of an 'all of the above' energy policy.

In our response, we cited our recent poll which highlighs overwhelming support for energy choice and an all of the above energy policy among conservatives

We respect our friends at CAE, but clearly disagree on the strategy of attacking specific generating technologies, as this provides unhelpful and, frankly, irrelevant advice to policymakers who are addressing the questions of today, toward building the grid of tomorrow. 

See Our Response here

See our Polling here
NEWS: Michigan conservatives hope to make inroads on clean energy with ALEC

A Michigan conservative energy group is making inroads with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in an effort to get the controversial fossil fuel-linked group to adopt clean energy policy positions.

MnCEF Leadership Council News:

To many, it may seem that promoting clean and renewable energy is not compatible with fostering a robust economy. Catholic social teaching, in particular Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical 'Laudato Si', rejects such a paradigm and urges the human community to seek solutions that protect the environment without excluding the possibility of economic growth and vitality.

Blog Post: Free Markets Create Real Incentives

It's frustrating to watch Minnesota communities pursue bad policy, when the right approach is staring them right in the face.

MnCEF staff and board members are out and about talking to conservative organizations about how "Clean Is Right."  We just presented at the Washington County GOP breakfast and will be at other BPOUs in the coming weeks.  If you or your organization would like to have MnCEF present about how free markets and innovation are taking back the clean energy debate from the left, please reach out to Nick Morgan at 952-334-9941 or [email protected].