Energy costs are rising and energy pollution is causing significant global problems. We often feel powerless to change things.
But we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put cleaner, more affordable, and more local energy on the agenda right here in Minneapolis.
In this exciting campaign citizens of Minneapolis will have a once in 20 year opportunity to weigh in on how they get their power. Here is the situation: Minneapolis has 20-year franchise agreements to allow Xcel Energy (for electricity) and Centerpoint Energy (for gas) to construct and maintain energy distribution facilities in the public right of way. These agreements bring in around $24 million annually to the City budget – this is out of an approximately $450 million in annual revenue that Xcel and Centerpoint gain from Minneapolis commercial and residential customers each year. The current franchise agreement for Xcel expires in January 2014, and the current agreement with Centerpoint expires in early 2015. Both utilities will likely be looking to sign similar agreements for new 20 year periods.
We believe that Minneapolis should keep its options open, rather than locking in another 20-year relationship with utilities reliant on dirty energy during a time when dirty energy prices, clean energy technology, and opportunities for local economic development around energy are changing rapidly. We’re exploring whether municipalization is the right choice for Minneapolis. We are sure that having the option on the table puts the power of people and local government over corporate money. This action alone protects the interests of Minneapolis residents in the following ways:
- Keeping rates at or below their current levels,
- Maintaining or improving energy reliability,
- Creating a clear pathway to greater renewable energy sourcing,
- Creating a clear pathway to dramatic city-wide energy savings to reduce both costs and dependency on dirty energy,
- Creating a structure and system for greater community ownership, control, and economic benefit in our energy system
A critical step in moving the campaign forward is getting our MEO resolution endorsed though the Minneapolis Caucus Process:
WHAT: Precinct Caucus
WHERE: YOUR Neighborhood (locations TBD)At the Precinct Caucus in your neighborhood, citizens gather to discuss issues and candidates, and to elect delegates to the next conventions. Whether you are a longtime caucus attendee or have never heard of them before, this is a great way to meet your neighbors and get involved on a grassroots level of democracy.Register HERE to let us know you can attend your Precinct Caucus to introduce our resolution!
Ready to help the campaign bring this resolution further? Plan to volunteer to be a delegate to your Ward Convention at your Precinct Caucus.
Want to present a resolution but have questions? We will be holding caucus trainings in the coming weeks – more details soon!
Together we can secure a clean, affordable, reliable, and local energy future for Minneapolis!
Why is MN350 joining this campaign?
MN350 is an organization that works to catalyze a climate movement in the whole state of Minnesota. So, why are we putting energy into a single city campaign?
MN350 strives to support campaigns that transition Minnesota energy sources away from fossil fuels owned by large corporations to renewable sources that increases local ownership and decentralizes power. This campaign gives an opportunity to explore the sustainability and feasibility of energy municipalization. Most of the municipal utilities in existence today were created decades ago with a number of cities that have formed more recent municipal utilities in order to create greater freedom in energy efficiency renewable energy decisions.
Minneapolis Energy Options can serve as a model for cities around the state. Every community has a window of opportunity to evaluate what their energy contracts look like. Minneapolis has this opportunity now.
For more information, visit Minneapolis Energy Options.
Interested in staying in the loop and getting involved through MN350? Fill out the form below: