COMMUNITY VOICES | The Hypocrisy of Minneapolis Energy Options


On August 1st, a rally was held by Minneapolis Energy Options. The group alleges that Xcel Energy is not providing ‘green energy’ and therefore, is not a suitable electricity provider for the city of Minneapolis. Apparently, Minneapolis Energy Options believes that the City of Minneapolis would do a far better job in delivering clean, renewable, reliable electricity to the residents of Minneapolis without raising rates and we will all live happily ever after. Who are they kidding? Not many. The overwhelming support for Xcel Energy at the city council hearing was not just from those in the business community, but also from the citizens of Minneapolis who had no corporate backing and who were giving their own perspective on the resolution put forth supporting extracting Xcel Energy from Minneapolis and installing the City of Minneapolis as our electricty provider. The citizens of Minneapolis who attended the hearing were overwhelmingly against the resolution. Myself included.

Xcel Energy is not the bad guy here. The company is providing us with what we demand. The sheer hypocrisy displayed by the members of Minneapolis Energy Options is out of the ballpark. How can they expect Xcel Energy to provide what they so ardently protest that we need, when they are not willing to help Xcel Energy achieve the goal of clean, renewable energy. Since I was in attendance at the rally and at the city council hearing, I saw members of Minneapolis Energy Options using their smartphones, religiously. Were they not powered by electricity? The battery does have to be charged and recharged am I right? Minneapolis Energy Options has a website. So, they are using computers and expecting others to use computers to find their website and to ‘like’ them on Facebook. Are the computers not plugged into an outlet from which an electric current flows? Does not a laptop need its battery charged? Members of Minneapolis Energy Options, please feel free to respond to these questions. Do you turn the AC on? Do you cook? Do you turn on lamps? Do you heat your home? Do you take a shower or a bath? Do you turn a fan on? Do you have a computer? Do you have a smartphone or cell phone of some sort? Do you have to charge and recharge your batteries? Do you have a refrigerator? Do you have a tv? Do you have a microwave? Do you have a mixer, a blender, a food processor, a pressure cooker, a toaster oven, a dish washer? Let me ask this; do you have a washer and a dryer? Shall I continue? The point is that, again…Xcel Energy is not the bad guy here. Look in the mirror, you are the reason why Xcel Energy has to burn everything in sight to provide us with the energy we demand. We all are. We are the reason why companies like Xcel Energy have to provide us with power by any means necessary because we DEMAND that they do. Not to mention the fact that we do not want to pay the price for the updating of our antiquated infrastructure and outdated mode of electric distribution. The recent June 2013 storm proved that. We refuse to pay to have the lines buried and so we pay the price in the form of massive power outages, spoiled food and insurance claims due to trees falling on power lines. Where would the wind turbines be placed? In downtown Minneapolis? In your back yard? If you want solar power, how is electricity to be generated during a Minnesota winter when the sun practically goes into hibernation?

If you honestly believe that the City of Minneapolis can do a better job in getting clean, reliable, renewable energy in the form of electricity to residents of Minneapolis, I have a bridge to sell you. Minneapolis cannot even get a handle on its racist cops, the City of Minneapolis cannot reduce its surplus of derelict buildings and slumlords. The City of Minneapolis caused many of the problems that Xcel Energy had to deal with in trying to restore power due to the fact that Minneapolis planted trees between the street and the sidewalk causing the trees to become uprooted and block streets all across Minneapolis. Sidewalks are still impassable today due to tree roots sticking up out of the sidewalk. The City of Minneapolis has a homeless problem that is not being addressed because the new projects in the city are for upscale, high end developments and not for affordable housing units for the city’s disadvantaged. The city’s bond rating was downgraded, thereby, costing more to borrow money because of higher interest rates. Where would the city get the money needed to buy out Xcel Energy? The city would get it from the residents of Minneapolis just as we are paying for stadium homes for multi-billion dollar sports franchises to play here, while homeless, disabled people are walking the streets and being locked-up on vagrancy charges. The City of Minneapolis as our electricity provider? Seriously? Who would we call when the next storm roars through Minneapolis and knocks out the power? Ghostbusters? Because the city does not have the resources to galvanize other states to come to its rescue, nor does it have the funds to pay for crews to come here and help out. Xcel Energy can and did do just that. The City of Minneapolis cannot even keep up with the pothole situation.

Let me put it this way. Yes, the polar ice caps are melting. The oceans are rising. Greenland is warming up. The ozone layer is all but completely destroyed. Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate and yet, take the morning commute and hit the I-35W at 62 Crosstown(where lanes were added to relieve congestion) or travel just about any highway in Minnesota. Take a look at the sheer magnitude of carbon emissions coming from the hundreds of thousands of vehicles on Minnesota roads and you are part of the problem, not the solution. Have you thought about hitching up a horse to a buggy? The Amish community seem to manage. It is sheer unmitigated hypocrisy to blame Xcel Energy for doing what we demand that they do. If those of you who make up Minneapolis Energy Options are really serious about making a difference in trying to ‘save the earth’ by ‘going green, then throw out your smartphones, your computers, sell your fridge and your range, tell Xcel to disconnect you from their power grid because you want to ‘go green’. Have your computer recycled and go outside, pitch a tent and hug a tree, then and only then will I believe that you are truly serious about wanting to reduce your carbon footprint and that you have a true wish for ‘green energy’.  Let’s see you practice what you preach.

Lastly, the City of Minneapolis is not up to the daunting task of delivering safe, reliable, dependable, renewable, ‘green energy’. Leave that up to the professionals at Xcel Energy to do what they can with what we are willing to pay for. I sincerely hope that Xcel Energy will stay in Minneapolis and continue to supply my home with the electricity that I demand because I am not so hypocritical that I don’t know that if I want everything powered by electricity, then there are going to be consequences.