Coalition Partners Launch "Energy We Can't Afford" Campaign to Challenge New Fossil Gas Plants

Quick Action: Sign the petition here to help Xcel fix its "F" grade on gas.

Across Minnesota, utilities are rushing to replace coal with fossil gas (or “natural gas” as the industry has called).

A key example is Xcel Energy's 15-Year Plan on where to source our energy from. It has yet been approved by the state, so there is time to make a difference!

 Energy Democracy coalition partners have given Xcel a Report Card on how their revised plan stacks up with important goals. 


While the report card shows a mixed bag, check out this article on what an "A+" energy plan might look like for Minnesota's energy users. Xcel’s Plan received one failing grade because the company did not model any energy future scenario that did not include a $1 billion new fossil gas plant + new pipeline facility in Becker, MN at the site of their soon-to-be-retired Sherco Coal plant.

Coalition partners launch the #EnergyWeCantAfford campaign (

The socially distanced action in front of Xcel’s HQ on September 10th began with a singalong to a rendition of the song "Electric Avenue" with special lyrics calling for transparency and accountability in utility planning. See the video !


Why is Xcel's plan a new fossil gas plant #EnergyWeCantAfford?

For decades, the industry has promoted fossil gas a “clean” and a “bridge fuel”. But most fossil gas now comes from fracking, a process which emits methane, a greenhouse gas eighty four times more potent than carbon dioxide. The fracking techniques used to extract fossil gas involve numerous hazardous chemicals which poison nearby community members.

It also places shareholders over customers. Even if Xcel shuts this proposed fossil gas plant down many years earlier than its 40-year expected lifespan, Xcel customers (rather than Xcel shareholders) will still be on the hook to pay off the costs of building it because Xcel stockholders are legally guaranteed to receive a return on infrastructure investments (like this power plant). 


This is not Energy Democracy. Is there a better way?

The new coalition effort called Energy We Can't Afford offers

* A quick fact sheet of what's at stake- There are not one but three proposed new fossil gas plants in MN which would set us back decades in the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy if built. But it's not too late to stop them!

* A powerful in-depth report on how investing in clean energy instead of new fossil gas infrastructure is expected to save Minnesotans and Wisconsinites around $600 million over the next 30 years.

Even back in 2018, when Xcel was still drafting its 15-year energy plan, the Minnesota’s “Smarter Grid” study was released and showed that distributed renewables and efficiency together could save $1,200 per Minnesota household per year. Meanwhile, Xcel’s preferred plan costs Minnesotans at least 1% more per year.

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