Today rebuttal testimony is due on Mesaba, so it’s been a long day… that’ll be posted here later, maybe tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s the latest Letter to the Editor in the Grand Rapids Herald Review:

Health consequences should be considered with Mesaba Energy


Mesaba Energy. I’m reminded of people who smoke. When they start, they donâ??t think about possible consequences 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Their focus is the instant gratification of the nicotine hit. Their focus is on thinking they are acting like an adult, an idea sold by tobacco companies They don’t consider the long term consequences.

As with most things, a person’s decisions will be based on the information they choose to focus on. If their priority is instant gratification, only the information that validates instant gratification will seem correct. Among the many ironies is that people start smoking because they were conditioned to think it was the adult thing to do. They stop smoking, with a large amount of pain and effort, because it is the adult thing to do.

The irony of Dave Johnsonâ??s comment on NIMBY is that the people in power of the Mesaba project are also guilty of NIMBY. They never considered building the power plant in their back yard. Dave also mentions the sequestering of carbon dioxide, but fails to mention the carbon dioxide continually created to build the plant, mine the coal, and transport the coal and other elements needed to keep the plant running.

He also mentions all the time, energy, and money needed to clean the exhaust at Clay Boswell. He fails to mention that there are no pollutants or byproducts created with a wind generator once its operable. Now that’s truly sensational.

Wind Logic is a company, with an office in Grand Rapids, that tests places worldwide for the potential of wind-generated power. When I last spoke with the company, I was told that none of the towns on the Iron Range has ever been tested for their potential to generate electricity using wind. Wouldn’t it be wiser to consider all possible alternatives before committing to an industry that makes and keeps us dependent on so many people and natural resources, and creates so much pollution and waste in the process.
If consumers had a choice between clean, non-polluting wind energy, and Mesaba, how many would choose wind power? I believe Mr. Johnson’s logic regarding the use of wind-generated power is specious because we donâ??t have that choice. I also suspect the executives of Mesaba Energy want to keep it that way. They want us dependent on them for jobs and money, as it will ensure their fortunes.

Has anyone in power ever considered how much wind power would cost and how much money and jobs it would generate long term if we had available the money that Mesaba wants to get and has gotten. Has anyone in power ever considered how much less dependent we would all be using wind power? Are the people in power so focused on instant gratification, that they can’t consider the possible long term consequences of their decisions? If that is the case, arenâ??t we leaving our children with a legacy of dependency and pollution?

Gary Burt

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