Tuesday, January 22, 2008 By Aaron Brown
Yeah, Excelsior Energy and their boondoggle Mesaba Energy Project (a proposed coal gas plant on the Iron Range) is down two arms and a leg right now but they're still spinning. In a way it's a lesson for future students of public relations of how to keep in the media cycle by pressing puffy stories on media venues that lack the time or knowledge to question the source.
Here's WDIO Channel 10's "story," taken directly from the Excelsior press release and seen by half the Iron Range's TV viewing audience:
Excelsior Energy Undertakes Major Water Quality Improvement Program
Excelsior Energy is planning on building Mesaba Energy, a coal-gasification plant, near Taconite. On Monday, they announced an agreement with local leaders, to recycle all of the water used in the plant. This is instead of discharging it into the Mississippi watershed. There was some concern about that discharge. Excelsior has also agreed to make significant investment, into the combined wastewater treatment facilities in Coleraine, Bovey, and Taconite, when construction begins. Local mayors and legislators say they are pleased with this outcome, and that it shows Excelsior has the new culture of environmental awareness.
Proposed power plant changes its water plans
Associated Press - January 21, 2008
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Excelsior Energy says it has abandoned plans to discharge coolant water from a proposed Iron Range power plant.
Instead, Excelsior says it has agreed to install a closed-loop "zero liquid discharge system."
Excelsior CEO Tom Micheletti says the change will add about $20 million to the cost of the $2 billion project.
The company has also agreed to give up to $500,000 to upgrade wasterwater treatment facilities serving the towns of Coleraine, Bovey and Taconite.
Excelsior had sought to pump water from its cooling towers into surface waters just north of Taconite, where it wants to build a new coal-fired power plant.
Those plans have stirred environmental concerns because cooling water from the plant would probably contain heightened levels of mercury. The plant has also faced serious setbacks from state regulators.