Big Stone II: 4.7 million tons of global warming carbon
On March 21 the Daily Globe published an editorial titled "Legislation Will Kill Needed Power Plant." Passage of the Global Warming Mitigation Act 2007 by the Minnesota State Legislature may indeed make it too burdensome for the Big Stone II co-o...
On March 21 the Daily Globe published an editorial titled "Legislation Will Kill Needed Power Plant." Passage of the Global Warming Mitigation Act 2007 by the Minnesota State Legislature may indeed make it too burdensome for the Big Stone II co-owners to continue as planned, but the editorial begs the question, "Is Big Stone II really needed?"
The plan to build Big Stone II in South Dakota at the expense of two million Minnesota ratepayers has been flawed from the start. Opponents to Big Stone II presented solid testimony at Big Stone II Transmission hearings that the projected customer need was not accurately substantiated. More importantly, the record showed that future customer need could be economically met through increased efficiency, demand side management, and through the development of renewable energy resources.
Then, on Jan. 30, Gov. Pawlenty's Minnesota Department of Commerce released its recommendation. A letter signed by Deputy Commissioner Edward Garvey recommended that the Big Stone II Certificate of Need not be approved. The document cites a list of legal requirements that the Big Stone II applicants have failed to satisfy. But the factor crucial to the current Global Warming legislation might best be understood by citing Commissioner Garvey: "If carbon costs are not adequately addressed (for Big Stone II), it would be unreasonable to find that the proposed project is in the public interest."
Minnesotans have a choice: 4.7 million tons of global warming carbon annually for decades to come or, the promise of clean energy through technological innovation, increased efficiency, and investment right here in Minnesota.