Two Mesaba letters in GRHR

October 12th, 2006


More on Excelsior’s Mesaba Project:

Think of consequences with Mesaba Energy project
Last Updated: Thursday, October 12th, 2006 03:28:09 PM


To the people of Itasca and St. Louis counties and the state of Minnesota. Wake up!

Do you realize what the consequences the Excelsior Energy coal gasification plant to be located near the town of Taconite is going to be to our state?

After recently attending a CAMP (Concerned Citizens against the Mesaba Project) meeting at Cloverdale north of Nashwauk, I came away knowing our area is in danger of pollution to not only ourselves but to the animals, fish and habitat. Did you know that 720 lakes and an area of 340 kilometers would be affected by this pollution? Are we willing to sacrifice this for the sake of electrical power that will not be provided to us in the immediate area, but to people in the Cities, Rochester, LaCrosse, Wis., and points further?

Do the people of Minnesota care about our plight? The majority does not know of it as they think it does not concern them. Well, if they hunt, fish, or have property in this northern area of the state, they better be concerned. Remember the winds blow west to east and north to south.

Sure politicians will argue that this will bring jobs to the area. What more can help them in an election year but the promise of more jobs. Their reelection is critical to them. Many have already promised money for this project. In the end there will be approximately 110 permanent jobs that will require a college education and job experience. Yes, during the construction phase of the plant there will be a lot of jobs, but that will be only for a few years. There is a possibility that more plants will be built across the Iron Range. Is our sacrifice of clean air, water and land worth it?

Itasca County does not have a huge population. That is one of the reasons for the plant being built in the Taconite area.

For additional information please go to Or follow developments on Web site camp-site info. If you would like to receive updates or find out how you can help CAMP, please e-mail

Again, are we willing to make this sacrifice for our children and ourselves?

Joanne Gangl

And here’s a letter from Crowe again, stumping for Excelsior:

Mesaba Energy is working toward the good of the area’s future

Last Updated: Thursday, October 12th, 2006 03:29:03 PM


Complements to Dave Johnson on his well thought out letter on the Mesaba Energy project and invitation to the proponents of other forms of electric production to alter their lifestyles to fit their favorite type.

It is interesting that we hear the same arguments from the detractors of the project, most proven untrue long ago but still regurgitated over and over again. The remainder are generally irrelevant to the case, just thrown in to pollute the argument.

In my opinion, Gary Burt, of Taconite, to use his own analysis, makes some vacuous assumptions in his crude attempt to counter Mr. Johnson. The first assumption is that since no one has asked Wind Logic to test the Iron Range for its wind generation potential, then wind generation must be a viable alternative to the Mesaba Energy project. The second assumption is that this first assumption is correct. He then blithely goes on to advocate for the construction of windmills instead of the coal gasification plant, why let the facts influence anything?

The real fact about wind energy is that even though it is clean, it is unreliable in the best of circumstances. Given the choice, people choose reliable energy.

Another argument I’ve seen that I believe is similarly vacuous is this: “If we don’t use it here, we don’t need to generate it here.” Let’s apply this standard to all the other activities going on around the area. We send all the taconite we mine and refine to other places, we don’t use that here so let’s end all taconite production. Thousands of jobs lost. We don’t use all the paper we produce here so let’s end paper production. Hundreds of jobs lost. We don’t use all the ASV’s we produce here, we send them nationwide, let’s shut that down, hundreds of jobs lost. We don’t use all the OSB here so end all OSB production. Oops, I guess that is shut down, temporarily, I hope, a hundred and fifty families with greatly reduced income, maybe those jobs are already lost.

I know the people who are trying to build a clean coal gasification plant are looking at the big picture, a good future for the people who want to live in this area and have their children live here. The future looks pretty bleak if you follow the arguments of the detractors to their ultimate end.

Robert Crowe
Hill City

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