Xcel counters Rep. Mike Beard!

September 11th, 2006

I couldn’t have said it better myself… well, obvously I’d be a bit more direct, but read between the lines here (and check the on-line version tonote the placement and see how difficult the STrib makes it to read):


Proceed with caution

In his Sept. 2 column, “Hey, Xcel, clean-coal makes sense here, too,” Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee, points out that Xcel Energy’s proposal to build an Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle “clean-coal” power plant in Colorado demonstrates the company’s environmental leadership. We have shown that leadership in Minnesota with our commitment to wind energy, biomass and other renewable resources. And we are ready to show leadership in clean-coal technology.

First, it is important to understand what we are doing in Colorado and how that differs from Excelsior Energy’s proposal in northern Minnesota. The Colorado IGCC plant would be a demonstration project to find out if IGCC technology can operate efficiently and cost effectively using Western coals at high altitudes. Unlike the Minnesota project, the Colorado plant will include actual capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions. It is an effort funded and controlled by Xcel Energy to ensure that we understand the technology, while not exposing our customers to added risks or costs.

We support the efforts of Beard and others to explore this technology for Minnesota and supported the legislation he introduced to promote a clean-coal project. But that legislation also wisely protects our customers from costs and risks from this project. We are proceeding cautiously, asking questions and presenting information so that the costs and risks of the project are fairly presented and considered by policymakers. Based on our analysis of the proposal currently under study, customers would be exposed to unnecessary risks and costs.

Xcel Energy supports clean energy and innovative proposals that are cost effective and in the best interests of the communities we serve. With regard to Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project, we want to make sure that what could be a boon to clean energy doesn’t turn out to be a boondoggle for our Minnesota customers.




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