The City of Minneapolis has a long tradition of being a frontrunner in community development and sustainability. The Minneapolis City Council established a goal to decrease global warming pollution by 30% by 2025 and to increase local renewable energy programs. Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy are responsible for roughly two-thirds of our city's greenhouse gas emissions, and neither utility has shown strong support for local renewable energy programs. Our twenty year franchise agreement with both Xcel and Centerpoint expires in 2014 and 2015, respectively. We need to utilize this opportunity to better align Minneapolis' goals to reduce emissions, increase local, renewable energy, and reduce energy usage, instead of blindly signing onto another twenty year contract with both utilities.
A negotiation about all the options we have available needs to be a priority.
The opportunity to sit down with Xcel and Centerpoint and see what these utilities could do for a greener Minneapolis come once every 20 years. There is simply no reason not to do it! The benefits are clear:
- Increase in local renewable energy
- Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions
- Increase in energy efficiency
- Local job creation
- Local economic development
- Protection of public health
- More clean energy
We can grow our economy while protecting our precious natural resources in Minnesota. The environomics campaign encompasses MPIRG's work to pass concrete policies that create jobs while protecting our environment. MPIRG is working to support the expansion of transit in the Metro Area through building out the light rail infrastructure. MPIRG is also working to support policies that encourage better solid waste management.
In Minneapolis and St. Paul, we are committed to seeing the adoption of curbside collection of compostable materials.
In Duluth we are continuing to support the development of the Northern Lights Express.
At the state legislature, MPIRG continues to support the adoption of the recycling refund act, the establishment of a solar electricity standard in Minnesota, and critical investments in our transit infrastructure.