Minnesota Trash Talks Big Coal

Via the Star Tribune , of Minneapolis Minnesota USA, a State Department of Commerce representative has said that plans for a $2 billion coal-gasification plant are "not yet in the public interest." Being 'in the public interest' calls for the utility, Excelsior Energy, adding C02 sequestration technology and increased protection against "runaway electricity rates." Per the Tribune, the " proposals could represent major new costs for the project and limit the ability of Excelsior's developers to recover those expenses from electricity customers. The price tag for the power plant could rise by hundreds of millions of dollars if Excelsior is compelled to keep 90 percent of its carbon dioxide from going up its smokestacks, a company executive estimated." Specifically, the " cost of diverting CO2 created in burning coal -- a process that could involve building more than 600 miles of pipelines to ship the gases for underground storage in Canada or North Dakota -- could run as high as $891 million and reduce the operating efficiency of the plant by as much as 40 percent, Xcel said in one filing before the PUC". Wow.

We don't reside in Minnesota, so here's our 2 cents worth for the entire coal power 'value chain'. You've been telling us for years how good "clean coal" will be. The time is come to put some serious industry capital down. Pipelines won't get any cheaper. If it's just a "pipedream" to get taxpayer subsidies for an advocacy campaign, then go build your "gasification plant" at the head of that imaginary tube to the center of the earth.

Image credit: Audio Books Online.

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