7:00 AM | Posted in
I have been writing on and off for some time now to try to convince others that the Crown Hydro Project is a legitimate project worthy of moving forward in the process. Unfortunately, there are others out there tirelessly blocking it even at the expense of process and transparency.

Over at Minnesota Progressive Project, Two Putt has yet another example in the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. It seems as though "due diligence" and an open process have given way to opposing projects on the flimsiest of evidence.

That the North Star Chapter of The Sierra Club did not do fair, full, and open due diligence prior to publicly opposing Crown Hydro really isn't in dispute; State Director Margaret Levin admitted last Friday that although they now are officially opposing Crown Hydro, there was only one meeting with Crown Hydro and only one Club member attended - in November of 2007; 17 months ago (give or take a few days).


And how careful could the North Star Chapter be, about giving "careful consideration," if they only had one - ONE - person meet about the project, SEVENTEEN months ago, before stating their opposition to the project?

Nikki Carlson, who hasn't been Crown Hydro spokesperson for all that long, told me that she has repeatedly - starting before last year's elections - tried to schedule time with The Sierra Club to give a presentation of the project's merits, and answer any questions/concerns/objections the Club may have.

Sadly, The Sierra Club never accepted the offer, yet still finds the audacity to "oppose" the project, on the flimsiest of grounds: that a legal, valid, and binding lease isn't a "lease" - but a "sale"; and on the length of said lease, which - of course - is always negotiable between two parties acting in good faith.

Yet, the Sierra Club isn't alone in its war on process and due diligence. I found it very interesting to watch a meeting of the Minneapolis Park Board from December of '07. At that meeting, members voted to halt the process by which the mere study and negotiation of Crown Hydro would move forward. By the end of the discussion even Commissioner Carol Kummer was remarking at how transparency had received a "kicking" and was fearful that process would be given the same treatment. With all due respect to Ms. Kummer, I believe it is too late. This and the example highlighted by Two Putt clearly show that Crown Hydro may never receive the due diligence it deserves.

The death of transparency, process, & due diligence brought to you by the Minneapolis Park Board and the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club...