Minnesota’s Biggest Electric Co-op Rejects Green Activists for Board

American Experiment has documented the high stakes for the DFL’s Green New Deal in a ground-breaking report, “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50% Renewable Energy Standard by 2030 Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.”

One of our expose’s co-authors, Isaac Orr, put it this way in a recent Pioneer Press op-ed.

Increasing quantities of renewable energy result in increasing electricity prices because they are more expensive than conventional sources of electricity, like coal. Additionally Minnesota would still need backup sources of electricity, like coal and natural gas plants, to be available when the wind is not blowing, like during the Polar Vortex, or when the sun is not shining. As a result, Minnesotans must pay twice for electricity they use once.

Yet green energy activists still pull out all the stops to push their over-the-top agenda that gouges ratepayers, undermines the reliability of the electric grid and threatens to kill thousands of jobs.

Their strategy now includes attempting to politicize the board of the state’s largest electric cooperative. Connexus Energy had three spots on its eight member board on the line. A slate of three green members of the coop who were dissatisfied with the electric provider’s mix of renewable power sources ran a political-style campaign, according to MPR.

Blue, James Nelson and Marsha Van Denburgh campaigned together as challengers for the first time, hoping to raise awareness among Connexus members that they have a vote and can influence Connexus Energy’s future.

The commonsense members of the electric coop with 130,000 ratepayers in the northern metro cast their ballots for business as usual, roundly rejecting the risks and costs represented by all three green candidates. But it’s not clear the losing candidates got the message.

Van Denburgh said she and the other members pushing change will regroup. She hadn’t decided whether she would try running for a board seat again but said it was a great experience meeting fellow Connexus members during the campaign.

“We’re committed to wholesale change. It wasn’t about myself as an individual, it was about representing the member owners and listening to them and helping member owners understand more about the utilities that they are an owner of,” she said.

The green activists’ rhetoric clearly fell flat with Connexus ratepayers, who along with other Minnesotans have watched their  power bills continue to escalate under the state’s renewable energy mandate for no discernible impact on CO2 emissions.

[Board member Shelly] Peterson, who defeated Van Denburgh, said she’s pleased to represent the co-op’s members again.

“I am looking forward to seeing this whole organization shine. I’ve seen innovation and energy, and it’s really exciting,” she said, adding that the co-op needs to continue reducing its carbon footprint.

In the end, the green candidates’ attempt to infiltrate Minnesota’s biggest electric coop failed as clearly as the extreme energy policies they advocate.