Letter to the editor: MDU is moving in the right direction with wind powerMontana-Dakota Utilities’ latest testimony before the Public Service Commission was quite positive, but got little press, so I want to highlight some of the excellent things MDU had to say regarding its healthy change in focus. MDU explained why investing in wind is doing the right thing for its customers, beyond the obvious benefits for our lungs, air and water.
By: Sherry Sand, The Jamestown Sun
Montana-Dakota Utilities’ latest testimony before the Public Service Commission was quite positive, but got little press, so I want to highlight some of the excellent things MDU had to say regarding its healthy change in focus. MDU explained why investing in wind is doing the right thing for its customers, beyond the obvious benefits for our lungs, air and water. It will protect our pocketbooks. As MDU President and CEO Dave Goodin said in his pre-file testimony of case PU10-124, “The wind facilities provide all integrated customers protection from future price volatility associated with fossil fuel generation, especially natural gas, and reduce the dependency on MISO energy market purchases, and reduce environmental emissions.”
In the past, many mistakenly thought coal and wind couldn’t be used together, but MDU experienced that coal can provide baseload when the wind isn’t blowing and when the wind is blowing a lot we can sell the excess energy to MISO and make a profit because of wind’s low-cost energy. Andrea Stomberg, MDU’s vice president of electric supply, said in her testimony that investing in wind instead of coal is the smart thing to do, “as we look forward looking at environmental regulations, not just carbon. ... 316(b) rules, the water quality rules, all of which make us understand that we’re going to have increased costs at our fossil units.” Although, I was very disappointed the Public Service Commission let MDU bill us $13.6 million for its failed Big Stone II investment, I’m happy MDU seems to be moving in the right direction now. Wind is something we can all come together in support of — every person and business benefits from clean air. Investments in clean energy will keep our utilities bills low as fossil fuel prices continue to rise.
In regards to comments presented to the City Council meeting held on Jan. 3 by Jeanette Grabinger: I have been employed at the S & R Truck Plaza since Nov. 1, 1979, and cafe manager since 1996.
Grabinger and her family eat in our cafe almost every Sunday but yet states that she has witnessed rats come under the door and go in the cafe. So why would you frequently eat here? Since October 2001 we have contracted with a city-approved pest control specialist. A specialist was sent by the city officials to inspect the problem she describes. He cleared us of any infractions and claimed we had no more issued with pests than what many people including the houses behind us were experiencing. He did report the findings to the city. We are located next to railroad tracks, fields, vacant buildings, etc. and had citywide flooding all around us. We don’t live in a pest-free world, but the reports were not out of line.
She reports finding crack pipes and condoms in her yard, the “litter” she reported to the city was checked by state officials and again we were found clear of any problems.
She reports old junk cars in the parking lot. We are a truck stop and also a Greyhound bus terminal. People drive those cars and leave them parked for long periods of time due to various reasons. We try to get them to park behind the building so they are not taking up customer’s spots in front.
She complained of tires sitting around and junk everywhere after the fire; there were things we couldn’t do because of the fire was caused by arson. When we got the call that we could dispose of them; they were all gone within seven to 10 days. When we got the word we could tear down the burned shop, we did. We couldn’t just do it when the neighbors wanted it done, as all officials had to complete their full investigations.
She stats we wreaked her fence; she was offered any amount of money she needed to fix her fence.
S & R is giving up its personal property to put in a fire lane so her house may be saved in case of fire someday. Grabinger parks her vehicle in the S & R parking lot where they want to put it along her fence, so this decision has not come with much welcome to her.
She said she got along with previous owners and can’t get along with the present one. How can they possibly get along when she isn’t satisfied in any matter and we can’t figure out what she really wants? S & R isn’t leaving the neighborhood and we aren’t closing down to satisfy Grabinger so it’s time to call a truce, because we’re here to stay!