Steve Kolbeck, vice chairman of South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission, said construction of Big Stone II and improvements to the nearby power plant would have cut total pollution from the site while greatly increasing its output.
"If we could have gotten it built ... we could have actually made the air cleaner up there," Kolbeck said" [Dale Wetzel, "Developers Abandon Plan for Big Stone II Power Plant," AP via Winona Daily News, 2009.11.03].
Help me out: building a coal-fired plant that would have pumped out four million tons of carbon dioxide a year, would have made the air cleaner? The two Minnesota administrative judges who ruled against building the power lines to Big Stone II (and whom the Minnesota PUC amazingly ignored) found the new coal plant would have emitted as much CO2 as all of the cars and trucks in South Dakota. And CO2 makes up only 10%–12% of the crap coming out of a coal plant smokestack (fly ash and mercury anyone?).
Yikes—next Commissioner Kolbeck will be telling farmers that the Keystone oil pipelines will make their groundwater safer.