Duluth News Tribune details Excelsior lobbying, political contributions

Peter Passi continues his Duluth News Tribune investigation into Excelsior Energy, the start-up company that has spent 10 years and $41 million in public dollars without producing local jobs or any electricity. Today’s topic? The $1.8 million Excelsior and its officials have spent on lobbying and political contributions to state and federal officials of both political parties. Passi and the DNT have done a good job with this series, shedding light on serious policy problems while offering the company and local politicians significant space to explain themselves. Read the story. Do you feel reassured? Or do you think it’s time to retool how the Range does economic development?

I wrote about this topic a couple weeks ago. Karl Bremer of Ripple in Stillwater had previously done a fantastic job reviewing Excelsior’s lobbying and political spending.


  1. The question I have, is if th IRRRB thinks this power plant is a great idea why aren’t they partnering with Minnesota Power or Xccel or someone else who can actually deliver it. Micheletti seems to be arguing he’s out of their league. So why are we bankrolling him?

    I understand folks want to support the underdog. But the real underdogs here are people who still live on the Range and need income, not Wayzata lawyers.

    Sure, as Ruakavina says, they are going to gamble and some of the projects will fail as a result. But the chopstick factory at least got built. And it would be better to take the chance that you are dumping money into something that would happen anyway and have it happen, than waste all this money on someones ego trip.

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