MINNEAPOLIS – August 9, 2013 –The Minneapolis Energy Options campaign welcomes the recent commitments by Xcel Energy to help the City meet its energy goals, in response to the public pressure generated by the campaign. It is clear that the people of Minneapolis want a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more local energy future, and these commitments by Xcel could be a first step toward that future.
“Xcel's letter is a step toward a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more local energy future,” said Dylan Kesti, Campaign Coordinator for Minneapolis Energy Options. "We appreciate that the mayor has acknowledged that, due to the grassroots efforts and the community power of Minneapolis Energy Options, we are taking a step forward and that community organizing has positioned the city as never before to have the best negotiating power with the utilities.”
Minneapolis Energy Options agrees with Mayor Rybak that the Minneapolis City Council should not place a municipal utility question on this year's ballot, so the City can try to get the utility to live up to these commitments as part of franchise negotiations next year.
“ This is a step forward, but we need accountability to hold the utility to these commitments,” remarked Dylan Kesti. “ We must work collaboratively to build bridges to a more sustainable and equitable Minneapolis.”
To hold the utility to these commitments, the City Council must act on August 16th to develop an energy vision, continue fighting for more flexibility at the legislature, and commit to finalize its franchise negotiations by the end of June, 2014.
The recent commitments by Xcel, though real, are clearly low-hanging fruit: several do little more than commit to follow new state laws on community solar and standard contracts for renewable energy projects. The City can and should fight for more specific commitments from Xcel to meet our energy goals.
Minneapolis Energy Options is a coalition of organizations and neighbors interested in expanding energy options for the City of Lakes. We support more conservation and energy efficiency, local renewable energy and democratic control of our energy system.