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New Scientific Report Shows Global Warming Real and Man-Made

February 2, 2007

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report today showing with new certainty that global warming is happening and is mostly man-made. The report, the fourth since 1990, is prompting renewed debate over the merits of a new coal-fired plant under consideration in northeast South Dakota. Jeanne Koster with the South Dakota Resource Coalition says the Big Stone Two power plant would contribute to global warming and that it makes more sense to develop wind power.

"This is development that can be pursued incrementally. The power isn't needed all at once. In fact, Big Stone Two can't come on all at once. It will take years. We can gradually be phasing in wind, and the coal that we already have is the backup. We have it upside down."

Koster believes a strong economic argument can be made for wind power.

"Wind power will bring us more than four times as much annual income as Big Stone Two would. We're looking at $7 million in annual economic gains from Big Stone Two. But an investment in wind in South Dakota would bring a steady $35 million annually and several times more ermanent jobs. And remember, once those turbines are up, the fuel is free,
a gift from heaven."

Proponents of the Big Stone Two plant say it's needed to prevent a future energy shortage, but Koster notes that global warming is moving at an alarming pace, and that Congress will eventually respond with carbon charges against
customers who purchase energy from power plants that contribute to climate change. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will be holding hearings to either reject or approve a request to build power lines into that state.

David Law/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - SD