Charlotte Neigh in BusinessNorth

December 26th, 2006

Stolen “Fair Use” from the GRHR – Charlotte Neigh speaking at the CAMP presentation at ICC two weeks ago

Here’s Charlotte’s letter in BusinessNorth. Sometimes I wonder if those writing these articles were at the same meeting. Here’s the ORIGINAL BUSINESSNORTH ARTICLE, at least at “$2 billion” they almost got the price right, and here’re the corrections:

Letters To The Editor

Charlotte Neigh, Co-chair Citizens Against the Mesaba Project (CAMP)

12/24/2006 1:18:04 PM

To the Editor:
I’m glad that you covered the public hearing regarding Excelsior Energy’s attempt to force Xcel Energy to purchase the output of Mesaba I – the coal-gasification, 600 MW power plant proposed to be built in Itasca County. However, some corrections and additions are required.
There were at least 200 people present for the 5:00 p.m. session at Taconite; contrary to what was stated in the report, there were even more people present for the 1:00 p.m. session, reflecting the high level of concern among local residents.
The article referred to as a “Web site”. It is that, but its role in this proceeding is as an intervening party, submitting evidence and argument to be considered by
the judges and the PUC.

No one is arguing that the Itasca County site is “pristine”, however its trees and more than 300 acres of wetlands are closer to being pristine than to being the brownfield site abandoned by LTV near Hoyt Lakes that was cited by Excelsior in 2003 when it received special privileges from the legislature.
The 2006 bonding bill provided $11 million (not $55 million as reported) for Itasca County infrastructure to be used for either Mesaba Energy or Minnesota Steel or both. $55 million is the amount that Mesaba was seeking from the legislature for its infrastructure needs.
If Tom Micheletti actually said that his project won’t die if the PUC doesn’t approve the power purchase agreement with Xcel, that is big news and deserves to be explored. Until now Excelsior’s stated position has been that if this PPA is not approved, not one shovelful of earth will be turned. If the PUC rejects the proposed PPA as either too expensive or not in the public interest, what other entity would be interested in
purchasing the power from Excelsior?
Charlotte Neigh, Co-Chair
CAMP (Citizens Against the Mesaba Project)

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