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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 22, 2017

Sherco Power Plant: The Wrong Project, for the Wrong Reasons, At a Big Cost

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sherco-power-plant-the-wrong-project-for-the-wrong-reasons-at-a-big-cost/

Have you seen this advertisement from Xcel Energy? We’ve done a little bit of work to clarify their message for them.

The proposed Sherco natural gas plant bill will soon be at Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s desk, after you watch our video, give him a call and tell him you oppose this billion-dollar boondoggle.


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Call Gov. Mark Dayton at 651-201-3400 or email him at mark.dayton@state.mn.us.

Read more below in the op-ed that we submitted to the Minneapolis Star Tribune or in our original post excoriating the planned fossil fuel power plant.


Minneapolis Star Tribune – February 13, 2017

Sherco power plant: The wrong project, for the wrong reasons, at a big cost

By John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers, including Gov. Mark Dayton, last week endorsed Xcel Energy’s plan to build a new natural gas plant in Becker, Minn. What they’ve left out is that this project is a multibillion-dollar boondoggle.

Fortunately, there’s still time to stop it.

Led by Xcel and labor groups, proponents say the plan will safeguard jobs lost when Xcel shutters coal-fired generators at the site in the mid-2020s. But the new facility is projected to employ just 150 workers, roughly half the number currently employed by the coal operations. It’s hardly worth the $1 billion upfront price tag and billions more in fuel costs borne by ratepayers — especially when there are cheaper ways to protect the workers and generate the power.

Read the full story here.

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell or Karlee Weinmann on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Feb 3, 2017

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/thanks-to-co-op-small-iowa-town-goes-big-on-solar/

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Dec 26, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for Electric Utilities, Happy 2017!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2017-electric-utility-resolutions/

The turn of the year is a perfect time for monopoly electric utilities nationwide to reflect on their substandard policies and embrace changes that will bring cleaner, more affordable energy to their customers. By finally committing to truly support distributed generation and renewables, these utilities can ensure their customers will have the choice and freedom… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2017

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/choice-competition-and-clean-air/

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations. Individual Freedom If individuals want… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2017

The Power and Perils of Cooperatives – Episode 12 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-power-and-perils-of-cooperatives-episode-12-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Hannah Trostle and Karlee Weinmann, Research Associates for the Community Broadband Networks and Energy Democracy initiatives, respectively. The three discuss the cooperative model of ownership and how this model can enable investment in gigabit Internet connections for their member-owners, but also how they are subject to a low participation rates in their elections. Continue reading