There’s more in the Grand Rapids Herald Review about Excelsior‘s Mesaba coal gasification (IGCC) project:

Build a research facility for energy projects

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 11:59:21 AM


On Dec. 29, ABC News International reported on a seismic event, but not an earthquake. The Ayles Ice Shelf, all 41 square miles of it, one of six major shelves remaining in Canadaâ??s arctic, had snapped off, broken away from Ellesmere Island. Scientists described this occurrence as signaling a â??crossing of climate thresholds.â?

Theis â??dramatic and disturbing eventâ? registered on seismographs, but that wonâ??t help any if is significance doesnâ??t register on us.

We know that we must change the way we produce energy if weâ??re to avoid the further catastrophes that climate change has in store. How should we change?

The Mesabi Energy Project is a prefect example of what not to do. Burning more coal is not the answer. Burying toxic waste in landfills is not the answer. Using a process designed to sequester CO2 in a place where the geology does not allow it, is not the answer.

The $2.1 billion the Mesabi Energy Project will cost us, citizen taxpayers, might be used to develop means of making energy that will help to solve, instead of contributing to, global pollution and catastrophic climate change.

What if, instead of contributing public money to a project designed to enrich further the already wealthy, our state and federal governments created a state of the art research facility, right here in northern Minnesota, in, say, Taconite, to house a truly creative energy project, something on the scale of the Manhattan Project in World War II, to find clean ways to produce energy?

Matthew Miltich
Wabana Township



What is the cost of economic development?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 11:57:49 AM


I would be the first to admit that this area needs to promote economic development. There is no question that the area is economically depressed, but do we want to sacrifice our present businesses and our environment to achieve it?

The Mesaba Energy project and the plan for a Canadian company to move into the former Cleveland Heights location to mine copper and other precious metals appear to me to not be the type of operations we need, at least not with the current environmental standards being applied to their operations. While coal fired generators can be built in an environmentally friendly manner through the use of current technology this does not seem to be being mandated for these projects. Copper mining is well known to be environmentally dirty, if you question this check out what is being dumped by companies mining copper in the western states.

Not only will we be left with their hazardous waste by-products the majority of the benefits will not accrue in this area but will flow to the Twin Cities Metro area and a foreign company.

Maybe Mr. Johnson and the gentleman from Hill City is willing to trade their neighbors business and the areas environmental quality for a paltry sum for the local economy I am not convinced that I am ready to bow down to these outside interests.

Economic development yes, but only in a manner that will not destroy current businesses or our environment.

Al Davis
Deer River

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