Mesaba – Telling it like it is!

September 19th, 2006

Here’s a Letter to the Editor from today’s Duluth News Tribune:

Excelsior power project rooted in politics

It may be that coal gasification will play an important role in the
future of energy production, but it’s clear that Northeastern Minnesota is a grossly inappropriate locale for the experiment, despite the rhetorical blandishments of Excelsior Energy and the politicians it has in tow.

First, the chief advantage of coal gasification is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by sequestering them underground. But our regional geology prevents that, and Excelsior’s plan would emit 10 million tons of the pollutant every year.

Second, Minnesotans are far from the potential consumers of the potential energy, necessitating hundreds of miles of wasteful transmission lines. That would surely involve issues of eminent domain, not to mention extensive destruction of forests and wetlands.

Third, the Minnesota Legislature, in an action reeking of pork and self-serving politics, attempted to mandate the purchase of the potential energy where there is no market or demand. Can you spell boondoggle?

Fourth, the plan is an insult to intelligence and thoughtful energy planning, and would have been rejected out of hand if not for purely political traction. Sen. Tom Bakk had the arrogance to say of the Iron Range, “It’s an area that’s comfortable with smokestacks.” Translation: the Range is expendable.

Bakk should speak only for himself. I was born and raised here, and I’m decidedly uncomfortable with the Excelsior folly. It’s an artificial, non-market-based, environmentally destructive proposal driven only by shortsighted politics instead of necessity or common sense.


Amen, brother!!!!


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