Excelsior lobbying expenditures questioned

The Duluth News Tribune digs into the money trail of Excelsior Energy. The company received "more than $40 million of public money" during the last decade as "the company and its CEOs spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying and campaign contributions."

State Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township describes the expenditures.

"These developers have been really successful in capturing public money and getting language and statutory changes giving their company preferential and special treatment," Anzelc said. "I believe that their highly effective lobbying efforts are directly attributable to the public resources they've had at their disposal. I think they used public dollars to lobby public law-making bodies."

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"Contrary to repeated false claims of project opponents, absolutely no state funds have been used to lobby the Legislature," Co-CEO Tom Micheletti told the News Tribune. "In addition, every expenditure has been approved by administrators of the programs and is in compliance with the rules of the programs and all applicable laws and regulations."

The nature of disclosure laws make it difficult to get beyond the claims of the two men quoted by the paper, but you can dive into more detail on the numbers.

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