Monday, April 14, 2008

Midwest Monday: Big Stone II Plant Not Dead Yet

The Big Stone II coal plant is an old-fashioned pulverized coal plant proposed near Milbank, South Dakota, just two miles from the Minnesota border. Otter Tail Power says the electricity is needed for its customers in Minnesota, but because we've got cleaner emissions laws than South Dakota, the utility is trying to site the 500-megawatt plant on the other side of the border.

Clean energy supporters - and anybody who thinks an old-fashioned coal plant in this day and age isn't a wise investment - have been battling the plant for years. Today opponents gathered at Otter Tail's shareholder's meeting in Fergus Falls to protest. Activist, former vice presidential candidate and Minnesota native Winona LaDuke told the Fargo Forum:
We’re already a planet seriously jeopardized by our past energy choices...We have the chance to do the right thing. I’m coming down there because I’m concerned.
As the Midwest considers legislation and regional agreements to finally put a price on carbon dioxide pollution (a major contributor to global warming), coal plants like Big Stone II better start listening to the winds of change.

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