Local politics over power plant

This is a few days old, but look at this excerpt from the Hibbing Daily Tribune’s Nov. 23 coverage of a recent Nashwauk Public Utilities Commission meeting (Nashwauk is a small town on the Western Mesabi, for those new to the Range).

In other matters, the PUC:
• Approved sending a letter to Excelsior Energy indicating interest in owning or participating in part of the Mesaba Energy Project. The PUC took similar action earlier this month with the Big Stone II project in South Dakota.

I’m sure Nashwauk’s citizens would love to know that their city officials are willing to double or triple their citizens’ power bills to provide political cover for their lobbyist/consultant pals trying to sell this beleaguered boondoggle of a project. Ultimately, this action will create little change in the demise of the Mesaba Energy Project (following in the footsteps of other coal gas plants that have been cancelled in just the past few months), but the letter again offers PR benefits for “Excelsior.” Prepare for more of this political spin as the project enjoys a flurry of positive soundbites with Tuesday night’s environmental hearing in Taconite. Energy from this Mesaba plant will cost twice as much as other sources, the plant doesn’t include the carbon capture they talk about, and all the risk is absorbed by taxpayers while all the profits will go to a small collection of lobbyists.

Bad deal. Give it a rest, Nashwauk PUC.

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