Great LTE’s in the GRHR

November 8th, 2006

So what’s up with “the press?” Today I find that these two Letters to the Editor about Excelsior’s Mesaba coal gasification project are not available in the Opinions section of the Grand Rapids Herald Review, but are on line and show up in a search of “Excelsior.” So I guess we’re supposed to know they’re there and do the search. OK, fine, we can do that. And this isn’t nearly so bad as other offenses lately, like Wente’s and Davis’ major journalistic ethical problem and the Forum making non-news “news,” but hey, you’ll have to wait for the book.

Here’re today’s hidden Letters to the Editor:

Who are elected officials working for?

Monday, November 06th, 2006 02:26:39 PM


It’s curious to note that over $20,000 has been contributed by Tom Micheletti and his wife, Julie Jorgensen (principals of Excelsior Energy) to campaigning and elected officials including; Norm Coleman, Mark Dayton, the Minnesota DFL Party, the Minnesota DFL House Caucus, Mark Kennedy, Amy Klobuchar, the National Republican Senate Committee, James Oberstar, and Tom Saxhaug. It makes one wonder who our elected officials are really working for, the lobbyists of Excelsior Energy or we, the constituents?

At the MN Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board’s website, Excelsior Energy has disclosed lobbyist expenditures of $60,000 in 2002, $100,000 in 2003, $60,000 in 2004 and $40,000 in 2005. That’s $260,000, where did this money come from? Itâ??s amazing how much money lobbyists will spend to attempt to get millions and millions from us tax payers.

Amanda Nesheim

And another good one:


Monday, November 06th, 2006 02:28:29 PM


Excelsior Energy has touted the Wabash River Plant in Terre Haute, Ind., as the example for their proposed plant in Taconite. Loren Solberg went to Terre Haute and said, “It wasn’t too bad.” That’s what an old World War II Air Force friend told me about Hiroshima when he flew over it at 22,000 feet. “Not too bad” wasn’t the answer I received from the people when I visited there several weeks ago. I was told, “The cancer here is so bad; coal is killing us.”

There are several coal plants in the area. The last time they remembered the gasification plant was running, it was spewing its “guts” out on the homes to the east. When the homeowners retained a lawyer to have the company pay for damages, the plant was closed and sold again.

I met Jerry, whose friend works there. The friend told Jerry that the plant doesn’t work; they just work on it!

Steve, a member of the Chamber of Commerce told me, said that he helped bring the plant in. He was never given figures to show coal gasification was better than the regular coal plants. He said it has changed owners so many times no one knows who owns it.

People there are so fed up with coal they are changing to something new, wind power, “clean power,” pollution free and delivered free of charge. I saw hundreds of windmills twirling in the breeze. Coal, to the citizens of Terre Haute, is no longer an “acceptable risk” as Mr. Saxhaug claims it is for us.

While I was in Canada, the Canadian Energy Conference was being held. The Canadian Government labeled Coal Gasification as a “Technological Pipedream” and that would be all the consideration coal gasification would be given. The Canadian Health Care System can no longer afford the high cost of health care caused by coal powered plants. Canada is phasing out coal and going to cleaner energy production.

Is it any wonder that this plant already wreaks the stench of Technimar, chopsticks, tirecycle and so many other pork projects?

With the influx of people moving into this area for the clean air and slower lifestyle claiming it to be paradise, God’s country and utopia I have yet to hear any of them coming and wanting to build “New Pittsburgh.” I have no doubt that just as our politicians said they stood and watched the mining companies steal pensions, they will stand and watch this company take us Jack-Pine Savages for a ride downstream. And surely they will have the audacity to stand by our bedsides while we or our loved ones are dying from cancer or our children choking to death from asthma will have their ears pasted near our faces waiting to hear us gasp out our final words out from under our oxygen masks: “More coal. More coal.”

Roger Weber

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