IRRRB OKs extension for failed Range project

On Monday the IRRRB voted to approve the reorganized loan agreement for Excelsior Energy, the failed Iron Range economic development project that spent $40 million in taxpayer dollars with no results. The agreement extends the loan until 2019, since the company is unable to make payments.

The Duluth News Tribune reported on the proceedings.

Board members generally agreed they have few options other than to help keep the project alive and hope it progresses. Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, a longtime critic of the project, was the lone member to vote against the loan restricting.

“They used up essentially $40 million and have nothing to show for it,” Anzelc said of Excelsior, noting there appears to be no assets that the IRRRB could secure. “Where did the money go?”

No Excelsior officials appeared at the meeting.


(Disclosure: Tom Anzelc is a friend and I run his campaigns).


  1. Good for Tom Anzelc. He seems to be the only board member who is not susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy. It’s a well-documented phenomenon.

    What’s especially frustrating is how this ongoing fiasco (Excelsior) carries the potential to taint everything in the IRRRB’s purview, and might ultimately jeopardize the trust fund.

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