Will we ever learn? And will we ever act on our knowledge? Thanks to the Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell, the new coal burning power plants in SD and ND will have transmission to get that power to market, transmission without which these plants would not be built. Every legislator who voted for this bill is responsible, and every environmental group, particularly those advocating and testifying — North American Water Office and Izaak Walton League (and its grant organization, Wind on the Wires) — are responsible. Thanks!

Here’s an “artists rendering” of Big Stone II:


Big Stone II, on the South Dakota side of the Minnesota border, is moving foward in the permitting process. This came in yesterday from Lisa Daniels, of Windustry:

This is a heads up that the first time for comments on the Big Stone II coal plant is coming up Sept. 13 in Milbank, SD. This will be a time for informal comments but from what I understand will get interested parties on the official intervention list and part of the process.

Location: The lantern Inn Motel, Milbank, SD
When: Sept. 13, 2005 at 7:00pm

Questions: SE PUC 1-800-332-1782
Michele Rarris, SD PUC staff analyst
Karen Cramer, SD PUC staff attorney

EL05-022 – In the Matter of the Application by Otter Tail Power Company on behalf of Big Stone II Co-Owners for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of the Big Stone II Project.

Here’s the link for the Big Stone II application — it is a biggie, don’t go there if you’re on dialup!

Here’s the Transmission Application for Big Stone — TRANSMISSION FOR BIG STONE IS IN MINNESOTA!!! To get more info, go to the PUC and go to “eDockets” and plug in the Docket No. “05-619” and the filings will appear.

Big Stone II came up at the most recent Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing (search for Big Stone).


In today’s New York Times:

The Canaries Had Their Coal Mines

Mr. Evers, who is executive director of the BioDiversity Research Institute, a nonprofit research and education group in Gorham, Me., is looking for signs of mercury in the songbirds. He has a pretty good hunch that he will find it, as he has already found mercury in songbirds in the Adirondacks and in New England.

If substantial amounts of mercury show up in the blood and feathers he has collected, it could spell trouble for the watershed and, potentially, for the nine million people who rely on the New York drinking water that comes from here because it would mean that the toxin is present in ways that were previously unknown.

“It’s far more extensive than was ever put forth to the public,” Mr. Evers said.

Mercury contamination has long been present in lakes, rivers and the city’s reservoirs.

Canaries had their coal mines, wood thrushes have their coal plants, as do we… we all are sharing the mercury. Maybe new coal plants are sufficient evidence of the impact of mercury on human brain function? Ya think???

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