… to Minnetonka, that is…

Great letters in the Grand Rapids Herald Review:

Mesaba Energy Project is not the answer


Is the Mesaba Energy Project the answer?

Promotors of the Mesaba Energy Project say that with newer and cleaner technology, the proposed new power plants would do less damage to the earths ground, water and air, and to health than traditional power plants. Is doing less damage the answer to meeting the energy needs of the future?

All additional emmissions would be cumulative and would continue to worsen our already threatened quality of life and longevity, not just for this generation but for the next 10, 100 and 1,000 generations, should the human race continue to survive. Shouldn’t we care?

As a mobile and enterprising civilization, of course we need energy. Acquiring that energy by depleting the earths finite resources to the detriment of the earth itself and life on earth is not the answer.

The long term answer to meeting the energy needs of people can only be met through the harnessing of renewable energy sources.

Minnesota is a national leader in such areas as technology and medicine. Yet, as a state and country the United States ranks near last of the developed nations in planning for the energy needs of the future.

How do we proceed? First, our state must have a clear energy policy so that our greatest resource, Minnesota people, have direction. We have the opportunity to lead the nation in clean energy technology development and production. And, a dedicated renewable energy industry would create a full array of job opportunities for Minnesota.

We need to convince our elected leaders that we are serious about safe energy. All of our elected leaders, regardless of political affilliation, need to be fully committed and we need to help.

We need to tell Mr. Micheletti now that he can go home because we have no interest in seeing hundreds of millions of dollars squandered for a destructive and already obsolete power plant. We have a better idea. All new energy investment must go toward energy development and production that is friendly to sustaining life. We can and must do this.

Jack Pick

…and another!

Project would bring more pollution



On Sept. 24, Peter McDermott of the Itasca Economic Development Corporation wrote an article in the Herald Review touting the Mesaba Project. He stated that the area has had both heavy industry and tourism as its economic base. This has been true, but this is a mistake to support this experimental coal burning plant.
Resort owners, others dependent on tourism, those who have moved here for the clean environment, and most of us who enjoy fishing, hunting, and gardening, should be aware that Excelsior Energy supporters are turning their backs on the environment to steer the area in a heavy industry direction.

We have fish consumption advisories on nearly all Itasca County lakes. If any more methyl mercury is added to our ecological system, I think postings at boat landings would be appropriate. Resort owners had better advise their clients of the danger and the general public should be aware of the health risks involved with fish consumption.

Cumulative effects of this plant, the new steel mill, existing Clay Boswell plant and six taconite plants are all heavy contributors to the mercury levels. If we add the other two proposed Excelsior energy plants, with all these smokestacks, we may as well live in Pittsburgh.

The IEDC is taking the same route the Range has taken for many years. I believe we need forward thinking people in these positions. Remember the chopsticks factory in Hibbing, the fish farm in Chisholm, Endotronics, Tire cycle, the recycle plant outside of Keewatin to produce pellets out of junk cars, and the list goes on.

This plant will make money for Excelsior Energy big shots, real estate speculators, bars and other businesses that will cater to the construction workers. They will come here, make their money and leave. We will be left with run-down trailer parks which will soon fill with more low income people living on county assistance. All this for 100 jobs that probably will not employ local people. These jobs require engineering and technical skills. These are skills that our local unemployed 30-year- old high school graduates just don’t have. One must be responsible for one’s own financial betterment. This means getting an education and working where there is a need for that selected field. The technology for this project is far from perfected. The power generated will not be used here but transmitted on newly constructed power lines through local wetlands and farms and out of our area. Mesaba and its supporters want us to believe it’s the patriotic thing to do. Destroying our lakes and air for profit is not patriotic.

A healthy environment is the best gift we can give to future generations. Everyone must remember that this project started out as 1000 jobs at the site of the old LTV plant in Hoyt Lakes. Now it has dwindled to 100 jobs in the lakes area of Itasca County. This is the ultimate bait and switch and our public leaders fell for it.

Frank Weber

Leave a Reply