MINNEAPOLIS – September 13, 2013 – The Minneapolis Energy Options campaign welcomes the recent commitments by the Minneapolis City Council to clearly define and plan our city’s energy future with a forward-thinking energy vision. The people of Minneapolis want a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more local energy future, and defining this vision is a first step toward that future.
Adopted at the Minneapolis City Council meeting on September 9th, the Vision Statement leads, “In 2040, Minneapolis’s energy system will provide reliable, affordable, local and clean energy services for Minneapolis homes, businesses, and institutions; sustaining the city’s economy and environment and contributing to a more socially just community.” The Energy Vision then lays out clear goals for all aspects of our energy systems: energy supply, distribution, end use and the social and economic impacts of energy. The City is now – for the first time – clear about its energy goals.
It’s a good start. But as Mayor Rybak stated in his August 8, 2013 letter to Xcel Energy “Much more work is left to do.”
We can no longer afford the outdated and polluting technology of the corporate power companies. We can no longer afford rate increases. We can no longer afford to keep sending most of our energy dollar out of our community. We can do better.
“This is a step forward, but we must hold the utilities to the commitments they have made,” remarked Dylan Kesti. “We must work collaboratively to build bridges to a more sustainable and equitable Minneapolis.”
The City Council’s energy vision provides the guidance for the Energy Pathways study to come, that will outline the city’s best options for achieving its energy vision. But the city must also get greater flexibility from the legislature to pursue its energy vision, and make every effort to finalize its franchise negotiations by the end of June, 2014, to keep the most possible leverage for holding the utilities accountable.
“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made by working with citizens, businesses, and the city to craft a vision of a better energy future,” said Kesti, “now we have to make that vision a reality.”