The McLeod County Chronicle posted a response to yet another reduced fact Gruenhagen LTE.
Perhaps Glen ought to spend less time guessing and more time knowing.
While it is always nice to have your work recognized, Mr. Gruenhagen missed a few things in his recent letter ("Thoughts of global warming, Big Stone II delays," March 4).
He lamented that it took the Public Utilities Commission more than three years to approve the power lines for the Big Stone II coal-fired power plant and blamed it on us. He also was sure that the cost of the plant had skyrocketed because of this delay.
If he's concerned about the costs, he should be on our side. A study done by an independent consultant, hired by the commission, stated the utilities had consistently underestimated the costs of the power plant.
The reason it took 3-1/2 years to get approval was because halfway through, two of the utilities pulled out of the project. Great River Energy and Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency decided the plan did not make economic sense.
Of course, we had been arguing that from the beginning, that building a huge coal-fired power plant in this day and age would stick the electricity customer with much higher bills than using cleaner alternatives.
Once those two partners left, the remaining utilities had to shrink the power plant's size and go through the process again. It was the utilities and the marketplace, not the environmental groups, which caused the delay.
Finally, we did not just "pop up," as Mr. Gruenhagen suggests. This year, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy is proudly celebrating 35 years of being the legal and scientific guardian of Minnesota's environment.
Mr. Gruenhagen said much more that we could argue with, but as he freely admits in the second paragraph, he's guessing. It's safe to say that the rest is equally short on facts and long on misplaced blame.