December 12th, 2006


Today in the Hibbing Daily Tribune:

Citizens Against the Mesaba Project to host meeting

Melissa Cox
The Daily Tribune

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 08:07:54 AM

HIBBING â?? A group in opposition to Excelsior Energyâ??s proposed coal gasification power plant will hold a meeting tonight in Grand Rapids regarding the project.

The informational session, which will be hosted by Citizens Against the Mesaba Project (CAMP), will focus on impacts of the Mesaba Energy Project and recent developments relating to it, according to Charlotte Neigh, co-chair of CAMP.

â??We just want to do our best to inform the public so they understand all the ramifications of this project,â? said Neigh. â??It is important for people who have concerns and reservations about this project to see that many of their neighbors do too. It is encouraging to be part of a group rather than an isolated individual wondering it anybody else has the same opinion.â?

CAMP is a group of local citizens who have looked into the proposed project and concluded it is not beneficial to the area or its residents.

Representatives of CAMP have been holding meetings and giving presentations across the region since July.

â??The main purpose for our meetings is to educate the public and encourage people to share their concerns with their elected officials and others in a position to influence the fate of this project,â? said Neigh. â??We hope to make people understand what the consequences of this are for the environment and for their health, and we also want to encourage people to turn out on December 20 for the public hearing in Taconite.â?

Public Hearings regarding the power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy are scheduled on Dec. 18 in St. Paul, on Dec. 19 in Hoyt lakes and Dec. 20 in Taconite. In December of 2005, Excelsior Energy submitted a petition to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval of a power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy. If the agreement is approved, then Xcel would be required to purchase power from a base load power generating facility to be located near Taconite or Hoyt Lakes.

â??This is a chance for them to come and see for themselves what is going on and give their input in a meaningful way,â? said Neigh.

The public is invited to attend the informational meeting hosted by CAMP being held at 7 p.m. today at the Davies Theater on the campus of Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids. The gathering will feature a presentation and opportunity for public participation.

â??Anybody who wants an update on the status of the project and on all the information that we have managed to put together should attend,â? said Neigh.

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