View Case Record, AI-17-568
View Case Record, RP-15-690
Subscribe to This Case
I recommend that the PUC deny permitting for the proposed new Minnesota Power natural gas(NG) power plant.
1) Leakage of unburned methane from NG infrastructure is accelerating global warming and bringing us closer to ‘tipping points’ that can trigger climatic disasters.
2) Fracking water is heavily contaminated with concentrated brine and numerous toxics including arsenicals, and radioactive materials. There are more than 700 chemicals used in fracking including well-known carcinogens, more than 130 hormone-disruptors, and chemicals that can harm fetal-health. Surface water contamination is well documented.
3) NG pipeline compressor pumping stations annually emit hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases and pollutants that include known carcinogens and compounds toxic to fetuses, children and adults. The American Medical Association resolution, “Protecting Public Health from Natural Gas Infrastructure,” supports comprehensive Health Impact Assessments of all such installations.
4) Expensive NG projects will be rendered obsolete before achieving an acceptable ROI. Non-polluting renewable energy are a much sounder investment of state and rate-payer funds.
Bruce D. Snyder MD
The argument of methane is crazy at this time. All the dumps that are everywhere across the country have contributed to and still do to the exposure of the global warming. There has been numerous tries to establish burning units on or near these dumps and they are turned down. Why is it that the people who complain deny the abilities to reduce because of these issues. If you do not try to reduce but just want to eliminate, then there will always be more exposure. There is a methane burn flare at the refinery there that has been going for decades, maybe there is a way to use some of that burn off for fuel for other projects.
I strongly urge the Public Utilities Commission to deny permitting for the proposed Minnesota Power natural gas power plant (Namadji Trail Energy Center.) We must be clear about the true costs of using natural gas. While it is accurate to assert that producing energy from natural gas generates less carbon than burning coal, the processes of extraction and transport often result in methane leaks that have more immediate and dramatic impacts on harmful climate change. This gas infrastructure project now being considered represents a multi-decade investment in fossil fuels detrimental to our personal health, natural habitat, and climate. We cannot stop the decline of our forests, save our moose population, preserve our lakes from pollution, and meet Minnesota's greenhouse gas reduction goals without accepting the urgency of the global warming crisis. It is imperative that we make the transition to renewable energy sources as quickly as possible. The large economic investment, time and resources that would be put into the NTEC would be better spent on developing sustainable energy options for our state.
We must also take into account the communities at the start of the pipeline, where drinking water is threatened by the use of toxic chemicals in fracking water and an increase in earthquakes has led to the destruction of dwellings and other buildings in many areas where fracking is being done. The compressor pumping stations which are necessary for the transport of natural gas contribute to air pollution in the form of greenhouse gases and toxic compounds, putting all citizens but especially fetuses in utero and very young children at risk of disease and and abnormalities. These known risks are unacceptable. The surrounding land also suffers from landscape degradation and loss of habitat for wildlife. As evidence mounts on the dangers of fracking, there is a possibility that the entire natural gas supply chain could be abandoned as citizens, through election or courts of law, demand safer and cleaner energy sources. Natural gas is no longer a solution to either our environmental concerns or our economic needs.
Lucy Kennedy MM