Mesaba closer full site plan.jpg

Can you see the red and yellow lines going south on this site plan? That’s planned routes for infrastructure, one of them is for the huge natural gas pipeline that will go south to connect to the gas line in Blackberry. Recently, Trout Lake Township residents learned that yes, indeed, a route from Blackberry to Mesaba will go through the township, and that it will take land from local landowners. It’s one of those ugly scenarios where the legislatively granted power of eminent domain is available to Excelsior:

Regulatory Incentives

(3) has the power of eminent domain, which shall be limited
to the sites and routes approved by the environmental quality
board for the project facilities. The project shall be
considered a utility as defined in section
116C.52, subdivision 10, for the limited purpose of section 116C.63.
The project shall report any intent
to exercise eminent domain authority to the board;

Thankfully, township residents are paying attention:

Property will be sacrificed for jobs


In regards to the coal gasification plant proposed for our area:

There are many more considerations involved than are pointed out to us at this time. We are discussing the impact of the plant and its processes on the environment and on the immediate area around the plant, but I am not hearing any mention about the impact of fuel supply or power line output.

I have heard through an alert township representative that Excelsior Energy wants to have a natural gas line run from the Blackberry Township area to Taconite via Trout Lake Township (up the west side of North Road, then up the east side of Birch Drive and then cross country to Taconite).

If you have never had a gas line run across your land, you are lucky. Once the line is allowed, you no longer have control of your land. You can’t build on their right-of-way and you can’t put any permanent structure on their easement. In the case of this proposed pipeline (natural gas) you would be a fool to put your home nearby. In the case of small lots, your land becomes worthless.

Excelsior Energy is also considering a power tie-in with the Blackberry sub-station. Guess where the power line would go!

Check it all out, folks. My guess is that you won’t have a darned thing to say about it, but our local politicians want those jobs and will sacrifice more than 60 parcels of private property to get these jobs for their re-election. Heads up, folks!

Bob Norgord

Questions about the gas line


In regards to the Excelsior Energy wanting to run a natural gas line from Blackberry to Taconite, I am a concerned resident of Trout Lake Township. If this gas line goes through, what kind of impact will it have on the environment, or the people who own the land where this gas line will be placed? Does it mean that they will have no control over their land where this gas line will reside? And, if so, do we have anything to say about it?

Heather Kossow

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