5:52 PM | Posted in ,
One of the leading objector's to the Crown Hydro Project has been Vice President Walter Mondale. Two Putt Tommy over at MN Progressive Project addressed some of the objections Mondale raised in a letter to the Minneapolis Park Board. One of those objections:

We understand that the developer has assured the Park Board that the flow would not be impaired beneath 1,000 cubic feet per second. Look at the picture above and appreciate a 90+ reduction in the force of the flow and ask yourself what this will do to the most historically significant resource-the most visited attraction-that which we come to see as the power which gave rise to an infant industry by which Minneapolis became the flour capital of the world. Can anyone conclude that the assault from this project on our citizen's right to history is not harmed. [emphasis mine]

I have already addressed in a previous post:

That being said, there have been engineers hired by Minneapolis Park Board as well as University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Lab engineers who indicate that the water flow will be largely unaffected and any affect will be visually indiscernible. There are other safeguards put in place by Crown Hydro to make sure that no more than 1000 cubic feet per second of water is taken into the intake structure.

Further, I would love to know where Mondale gets his figure of a "90+ reduction in the force of the flow". In a believability contest between Vice President Mondale and engineers from various institutions I am going to have to go with the engineers every single time, but that is just me. The best part, however, of the post written by Tommy is a letter of support from the late Paul Wellstone:

I could go on fisking Vice-President Mondale's letter, but it's time to contrast Vice-President Mondale's letter to Senator Paul Wellstone's letter of support for the Crown Hydro project:

I am writing in strong support of Crown Hydro's proposal for a FERC license. Crown Hydro proposes to build a small hydro power, renewable energy project on the Mississippi River's west bank of the St. Anthony Falls in the historic Mills District. Not only is this an important renewable energy initiative, is also an attempt to restore a bit of Minneapolis' rich "Mill City" history to this easily accessible downtown location.

I applaud the efforts of Crown Hydro for doing their homework. They have worked in close consultation with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota Hydropower Task force which includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency, Northern States Power, the National Park Service, the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, the Minneapolis Park Board, the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, and the Minneapolis City Council The Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources allocated $120,000 to this project because of its dual benefit - - a produce of renewable energy and the restoration of an historic archaeological mill site. (more, here)

It is time to move this project forward. With all the necessary state and federal hoops having been jumped through, there is little reason for a local Park Board to obstruct on what appears to most as very flimsy reasoning. It is high time that we begin contacting those who wish to hold this project up and demand answers.
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