Who do you want deciding your energy future – corporations or communities? In Saint Paul, Xcel Energy supplies both electricity and natural gas, which puts them in the position of controlling our energy resources.
In 2019, the City of St. Paul passed a Climate Action and Resilience Plan that commits us to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. But our ability to meet or exceed this goal depends on our utility provider, Xcel Energy.
Just a few years ago, Xcel Energy proposed a plan — the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) — that included building a new fracked gas power plant in 2026 that would have made us dependent on fossil fuel power for decades to come. Did you know that Xcel’s power plants continue to be paid for by our utility bills even when those plants are forced to close early due to economic or environmental problems? Xcel Energy shareholders receive guaranteed profits while we customers carry the risks of bad investments and pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.
Over the course of many public hearings, overwhelming opposition to many aspects of the original plan was voiced by individuals, environmental groups, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. We organized our members to submit written comments to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The eventual outcome was that Xcel Energy reversed their plan to build this expensive and unnecessary plant. Instead of a fracked gas plant, they are now building Minnesota’s largest solar project in Becker.
This is the kind of tradeoff we need from Excel Energy to move forward together. Now is the time for us to take a stand as a city for powering our communities with clean, renewable energy and stopping new investment in fossil fuels.