Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:
Like many Minnesotans, I grew up with a fishing pole in my hands.  I ate what I caught, and caught only what I could eat in one sitting.  When I was young, I ate fish often with no concerns.  Then we began to hear about mercury in our fish.  Soon the DNR recommended that you should eat no more than 1 meal a week of northerns and walleyes from certain lakes, but it was okay to eat as many panfish as you wanted.
In the recent past, the DNR began recommending that you eat fish from many lakes only once a month.  Many lakes now even have advisories for panfish.  Mercury in the environment does not go away.  The situation will get worse.
Xcel’s Sherco coal burning power plant is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s watch list as one of the top toxic mercury emitters in the nation.  In addition, it is Minnesota’s largest soot polluter, contributing to medical issues such as asthma, bronchitis, and heart attacks.  It is also Minnesota’s largest contributor to climate change.
Xcel is at a crossroads with the Sherco plant.  It needs to decide whether to spend millions to update Sherco 1&2 coal units or replace coal by investing in clean energy.
I love energy as much as the next person.  I am truly thankful that we live in a country where life is so easy because of energy.  I also love our lakes.  Please join me in asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to require Xcel Energy to replace Sherco 1 & 2 with clean energy, specifically wind and solar.  The PUC is accepting public comments through October 1, 2013.
To comment via email, send your message to:  PublicComments.Puc@state.mn.us  Please be sure to include docket number RP-13-368 in the message body.
If you would rather write, please send your comments to:  Burl Haar, Executive Secretary, MN PUC, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul MN  55101.  Again, include docket number RP-13-368 in your comment letter.
Let’s keep our great fishing heritage intact for our children and grandchildren.
Jan Bergstrom
South Haven, MN