American Experiment scores major victory on Coal Creek vote

Center of the American Experiment notched a major victory last week when 27 out of 28 rural electric co-ops served by Great River Energy voted to approve the sale and continued operation of the Coal Creek power plant.

The outcome of the vote was no doubt heavily influenced by the fact that nearly 900 co-op customers have now signed American Experiment’s petition to encourage the sale of the plant. The sale of the plant is great news for the reliability and affordability of the electric grid.

Wind and solar special interest groups are upset about the vote, and they now plan to try and stop the sale of the plant at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), according to Inside Climate News:

Now that Great River Energy members have approved the sale, opponents of the plan are pinning their hopes on getting the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to reject approval of selling the power line, which would have the effect of canceling the entire agreement to sell the plant.

The other remaining step is approval of the plant sale by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

Great River had been arguing for a quick approval by the state commission, but opponents successfully got the panel to extend the comment period from July 28 to Aug. 11.

Environmental groups, including CURE, Fresh Energy, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Sierra Club said in a filing with the commission that the sale of the power line is of vital importance because it is one of the only ways of delivering renewable energy from North Dakota to Minnesota.

The fact that these so-called environmental groups are opposing the sale of the transmission line is damning evidence that they care more about promoting the wind and solar industries than reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Here’s why.

One of the biggest problems wind and solar have moving forward is transmission line congestion; there simply aren’t enough expensive transmission lines to move the electricity generated by far-away wind and solar facilities to major metropolitan areas, where the power is consumed.

Many wind and solar projects have been delayed or canceled because it is too expensive to upgrade the electric grid to bring them online, which is why these groups want to close down Coal Creek and use the transmission line for wind and solar, even though this would be worse for the environment.

It would be worse for the environment because the new owners of Coal Creek plan to install equipment on the plant to capture 80 to 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions and store them safely underground.

The sale of Coal Creek was a great victory for the people of Minnesota, and American Experiment is proud to have played a prominent role in informing co-op boards about the benefits of the sale.