Methane: There ought to be a law

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Regulators in Minnesota made the bone headed decision to approve the building of a new natural gas plant on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border near Duluth. They are idiots. There is no calculation that requires or even strongly suggests that this is a good idea. It has already been determined that this plant is not necessary. This is just the petroleum industry getting its way. I call for an investigation of the three (out of five) individuals who voted for this lame brained scheme. I want to know what stocks they own, and I want to see their bank records for the last, and next, five years.

Meanwhile, I call on Legislators in Minnesota to pass a law stating that we can not add any more fossil fuel sources into our energy mix, in utilities within or overlapping with the state of Minnesota. We need that bill passed during the next legislative session, to stop this plant and similar ideas in the fiture.

The building of this particular natural gas plant is not inevitable. It still has to be approved on the Wisconsin side of the border. From NPR:

If Wisconsin regulators approve the plan, the new power plant would produce at least 525 megawatts of electricity. Minnesota Power and its ratepayers would be on the hook for half the $700 million cost.

Minnesota Power covers roughly a third of the state, mostly in the northeastern quadrant of Minnesota, from Little Falls in the south to International Falls in the north and over to Duluth and up to Canada. Its customers include large taconite mines and power plants.

PUC regulators heard final arguments in the case earlier this month. Commissioners also decided Monday that the plan did not need to undergo additional environmental analysis, a decision that paved the way for its approval vote.

Methane is not a bridge fuel. It is a fossil fuel, and a greenhouse gas.

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2 thoughts on “Methane: There ought to be a law

  1. They are idiots. There is no calculation that requires or even strongly suggests that this is a good idea.

    They are not alone. And about this:

    It still has to be approved on the Wisconsin side of the border.

    Don’t count on any hint of sanity from the clowns in Wisconsin — they are as bought and paid for as the people in MN (and as the people we have in MI).

    Read up on the agreement Scott Walker made with Foxconn for southeast WI. Potentially up to $4.1 billion in relief for what was initially promised to be a huge next-generation plant for next-generation high resolution panels. Lifting of concerns about environmental caution for the plant, allowance for the plant to use as much Lake Michigan water as they want for promises of a huge number of jobs (about 130,000 was the stated number). As initially crafted the cost to the state per job was admitted to be about $100,000, which the state said would be made up quickly, but which oversight and outside analysts projected that (even with the best returns) would not be made up until 2040.

    Now:

    Foxcon: “Well, we’re not going to make the plant next generation, won’t produce the panels, and it won’t be the size we promised. Oh — and it will be highly automated; 90% of the work will be done by robots so we won’t need as many people.”

    Projected cost per job now approaching $150,000, and projected time to recoup state costs: essentially never. The real potential return: turning an area of WI outside of the Racine/Kenosha area into the same toxic cesspool that’s found around Foxcon’s plants in China.

  2. Don’t forget – you also need to know what Boards of Governors they get appointed to – with nice cushy salaries and few duties – once they leave office.

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