So what’s up with Rock Tenn?
The Rock-Tenn Corporation owns and operates the state's largest paper recycling plant in St. Paul. The factory lost a major power source this past summer when Xcel Energy shut down its steam line, transitioning from coal to natural gas. As a result, there is a major effort underway to identify a new energy source for the plant. Rock Tenn is an important part of Minnesota’s recycling effort and there are 500 living wage jobs at risk if a new source of energy is not employed.
The legislature, in the omnibus energy bill, funded a study process to identify potential energy sources. Both the Minnesota Department of Commerce, serving as a fiscal agent, and the St. Paul Port Authority are involved in the study. The legislation also created the Rock-Tenn Community Advisory Panel to bring citizen voices to the discussion.
The RCAP, comprised of 15 local citizens, now holds public meetings on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month to discuss and analyze options. By next spring, the RCAP is charged with bringing recommendations regarding a new fuel source to the St. Paul City Council.
There is great involvement in this process from our neighborhoods. Citizens are clear that the energy source selected must be clean in order to protect the health of the people. Finding a clean and affordable replacement for the steam that once fueled the operation is a major challenge. Because the Rock Tenn plant is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, a clean and sustainable energy source is critical. For the future of the plant, it must be affordable. And for our future, we must chart a course that is renewable. We are fortunate to have bright and engaged participants on the RCAP.
You can participate in this discussion. Visit www.rtadvisory.org. to learn more. The next RCAP meeting will be on Monday, November 26th at 7:00 p.m. at St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church in St. Paul. The meetings are open and well attended.
Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 by Erin Murphy,