Update: The Minneapolis City Council voted 13-0 on December 10th to restore the full $150,000 for the Clean Energy Partnership into the final 2015 budget.
It's unbelievable, but the city council voted 7-6 yesterday to halve the budget for the clean energy partnership.
We've come too far to let a little budget fight kill the first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership, but we need your help letting city council know that we can't secure a better energy future on a shoestring budget. Join us at the city council hearing on Dec. 10 at 6:05pm to let city council know we can't cut our energy future (location info below)!
But before next Wednesday, city council members need to hear from you (respectfully) about their mistaken vote! It matters the most if you're a constituent, so find your ward and council member!
Linea Palmisano (612) 673-2213
Kevin Reich (612) 673-2201
Jacob Frey (612) 673-2203
Barb Johnson (612) 673-2204
Blong Yang (612) 673-2205
Abdi Warsame (612) 673-2206
Lisa Goodman (612) 673-2207
Read on for some suggested talking points, and a graphic you can share to let your neighbors know we need their help!Read more
As you've probably heard, our campaign has succeeded in helping Minneapolis form a City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy which have both pledged to be partners in creating a clean and affordable energy future with the City.
This is a great step forward, but now we need to see the big utilities put action behind their words. Right now, Xcel Energy is considering whether to extend the life of Minnesota's largest coal-burning power plant, Sherco, for another 20 years. Sherco Units 1 and 2 are Minnesota’s largest CO2 emitters in addition to being on the EPA’s “watch list” as one of the nation’s top emitters of toxic mercury and sulfur dioxide.Read more
A First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership
The October 6th, 2014 presentation and public hearing to the Minneapolis City Council's Health Environment & Community Engagement committee fulfilled the recommendations of this year's Energy Pathways Study which included a dual strategy of
1: A shorter utility franchise agreement with stronger reporting and transparency
2: A city-utility clean energy coordinating partnership that it gives the city real decision-making power in conjunction with the utilities on helping achieve its climate action plan goals and energy vision.
Minneapolis Energy Options has been working hard to secure this
next step. We've collected hundreds of petition cards to city council member asking for a 2 year length for the next utility franchise agreements and to structure the city utility partnership so that it is inclusive of community input. Following Monday's hearing we released the hundreds of the petition cards and print-outs of online signers to Vice Presidents David Sparby and Laura McCarten of Xcel and Vice President Joe Vortherms of CenterPoint. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance also published a report on an alternative grid model for Minneapolis the morning of the hearing as an independent analysis that can guide the EVAC and the Partnership board going forward.
The long-awaited results of the franchise agreement and partnership agreement negotiations between the city and both utilities were revealed in an online city press release last Thursday. Read on to get the details on what we accomplished.
A big part of what motivates Community Power is the moral imperative for all of us collectively to lower carbon dioxide emissions on short order. What will actually push the dial for climate mitigation is phasing out existing coal fired power plants; shutting down the oldest and dirtiest coal plants first (ex. Xcel’s Sherco plant). Power plants account for 40% of all greenhouse gases in the U.S and 74% of those emissions are from coal-fired power plants. However, so many utilities have so much sunken investments into existing coal plants, they will face stranded assets if coal plants are shut down long before their natural depreciation is complete. Utility cooperation with this moral imperative has a lot to do with whether the companies see that coordinated action on new climate policy as something inevitable to prepare for or whether they assume political success with climate policy won’t happen. We are fortunate to have such an opportunity before us right now to build that public and political pressure right now.
SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT TO THE EPA FOR THE PROPOSED CARBON RULES
We currently have a narrowing window of time to protect the outcome of the EPA's long-overdue and historic draft proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Public comments on the draft rules for the nation's first ever carbon limits are being accepted until Dec 1st, 2014. The EPA is legally required to read and respond to all comments in deciding the final rules to be issued in June 2015. As a result we need as much supportive and forward looking commentary as possible in order to outweigh the onslaught of commentary from those who want to quash the EPA proposal and keep the status quo.Read more