Mesaba hearing 3.jpg

In today’s Grand Rapids Herald-Review

Excelsior plans change retirement plans


As someone who grew up in the Grand Rapids-Bovey area, I started checking out real estate in that area, thinking about a retirement home. Thatâ??s when I found out that there is a power company that wants to come into the area, too. So I went on the Internet to see what I could find out about these Excelsior guys. Some sectors of the economy still have not recovered from the Enron debacle so, to me, the average person has to be on the alert.

It would seem that we, taxpayers, have guaranteed a federal loan for them to go into a power generation process. That is not very reassuring when you look at the overall, dismal performance history of the merchant power industry. I cannot find any document that says they even have a guaranteed customer base. Purely speculative.
The loan they will be using does not require them to bring jobs into the region (something that Excelsior itself told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune back in October of 2003), so there is nothing to hold their feet to the fire on that one. In fact, the one solid figure for that, that I could find, is that at last count 16 Excelsior lobbyists are registered in Minnesota.

It can make us sick at heart to learn how third world countries have traded their environment and quality of life for a few jobs. It is hard to believe that people I grew up with right here in this country are willing to let Excelsior have so much for so little (they are even getting tax breaks?) and turn that beautiful countryside into its own third world country!

It was shocking to learn about the mercury levels that will be in the water coming up out of these old mine pits. Mercury is especially harmful to the developing neural system in children, and just because they speak of it in terms of nanograms, I sure would not want my grandchildren living where anything harmful is in the air or polluting the streams.

If I am reading the information correctly, there is going to be a grid of power lines and pipelines criss-crossing a large section of land. Not only would that be ugly, there are inconveniences and dangers associated with both power lines and pipelines. Cancers have been linked to living under power lines and explosions and fires have been the result of pipelines.

The bottom line for me is that I will look elsewhere for a retirement home. I cannot tell you how unbelievably sad it is to read about all this, to learn that a dream of pristine land is only that â?? a dream. Perhaps there should be a contingency attached to Excelsiorâ??s presence: make the CEO and other upper management live south (downwind) of the new plant no further away than five miles and for no fewer than five years. Ask them if they would be willing to do that.

Margaret Kelly
Tacoma, Wash

I noted in the WCCO Energy series, a Reality Check item, Energy Lobbying at the Capitol, that they reported on Great River Energy’s 7 lobbyists working for big powerful companies, but they didn’t mention that Excelsior has 16! So I checked the Campaign Finance Board site (and by the way, Ron Dicklich is a lobbyist for Great River Energy — the guy who said Utility Personal Property Tax had been repealed!. Obviously they don’t have NCLB for lobbyists)

Excelsior Energy
Identification Number: 5288

This report includes filings through 1:05 am, May. 4, 2006.

Crescent Ridge Corp Center, Ste 305
11100 Wayzata Blvd
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Lobbyists Registered;Registration Number Registration Date
James J Bertrand 8432 12/17/2004
Judy E Cook 6040 2/3/2003
Robert S Evans 1523 2/14/2005
James L Girard 4017 2/3/2003
Christopher Greenman 1674 2/9/2006
Todd A Hill 88 2/3/2003
Douglas J Johnson 1255 2/14/2005
Julie Jorgensen 865 11/30/2001
Andrea Kajer 8665 1/24/2005
Timothy M Kelley 1445 12/17/2004
Brian M Meloy 4067 12/17/2004
Patrick Micheletti 1557 4/25/2005
Thomas A Micheletti 7701 11/30/2001
Thomas L Osteraas 1673 2/9/2006
Byron E Starns 5636 12/17/2004
Michael Wadley 1480 1/18/2005

Looks to me like we have to extend an apology to Excelsior — they aren’t lying — they ARE creating jobs, jobs, jobs jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs!!!

Leave a Reply