Once more, with feeling

Maybe you heard about the Mesaba Energy Project Final Environmental Impact Statement released this week. Local newspaper readers were treated to this Bill Hanna Mesabi Daily News story in the Range’s largest newspapers. The company is still pretending like it doesn’t understand why the Administrative Law Judge’s, Public Utility Commission and even this very EIS point out that carbon sequestration on the Iron Range is not currently possible. And of course, Excelsior Energy’s lack of a customer for the power is but a minor concern. Everything is fine, we are told. It’s always fine. It will be fine forever and ever.

Bill’s story is balanced enough to point out that environmental groups oppose the project because it uses coal. That’s true, I guess, for some. But the project’s biggest problem isn’t coal. It’s that it’s a massive taxpayer funded boondoggle that can’t and won’t stand on its own two feet. This project is a mix of the worst elements of capitalism and socialism, serving the needs of the few through questionable means.

Even the most optimistic realist (one not on the company dime) could predict only a tiny fraction of the original jobs promised through this project. At “best,” we’re gonna get a small natural gas plant with an adjoining science experiment. For all the millions of public dollars and time invested, the Mesaba project just isn’t worth it. It never was. The reasons why have been presented to key local officials and local media outlets. They have ignored it. Newspaper stories like this are a huge part of the reason why this thing has gotten as far as it has.

But, I’ve said this all before. If the company is going to hold its line, I guess I have to hold mine. I’ll write about something else today to cleanse the palate.

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