Progressive attack group mysteriously drops Xcel Energy from anti-corp. price gouging campaign
Alliance for a Better Minnesota Action Fund (ABM) is a far-left Political Action Committee that spent $7.3 million promoting liberal politicians and attacking conservatives during the 2020 election cycle, according to Minnesota State Campaign Finance reports. In 2018, the total was $9.2 million.
In response to voter concerns over rising inflation, the group’s educational arm launched a campaign at the website CorporateGreedInMN.com attacking the meat-packing company JBS, Amazon, and Xcel Energy for causing price increases due to corporate price gouging.
However, shortly after the campaign was launched, any mention of Xcel Energy was completely scrubbed from the progressive website.
The photo below shows the website on April 4, 2022, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.
By April 12, any mention of Xcel Energy, the $1.6 billion in profits it made in 2021, and the fact that it is seeking to raise electricity rates by 21 percent over three years had vanished from the website, even though the company has reportedly not paid any federal income taxes in over 14 years.
One of the single most important things conservatives need to know about Minnesota’s electric system is that there is no free market for electricity, and investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy are not truly private companies.
In actuality, companies like Xcel are government-approved monopolies, and their customers are forced by the government to purchase their electricity from the company in their service territory. This means Minnesota families and businesses have no freedom to shop around for lower prices or better service.
In return for this guaranteed market share, electric companies are not allowed to make a profit on the electricity they sell. Instead, they operate under an agreement with state regulators called “cost of service” regulation.
This means the state government will let the company charge enough for the electricity you use to offset the cost of providing electricity to customers, plus a profit of 10 percent on the cost of new power plants, transmission lines, and even their corporate offices.
Why would ABM withdraw the criticism that Xcel Energy so richly deserves? Because they are ideologically aligned. There is also a possible financial reason.
Xcel’s corporate profits are increasing precisely because they are spending billions building wind turbines, solar panels, transmission lines, natural gas plants, and prematurely retiring their coal plants, which is exactly what liberal politicians want them to do.
This is also why electricity prices in Xcel’s service territory are much higher than the costs paid by other Minnesota utilities and are set to increase by another 21 percent over the next three years.
The financial reason for ABM’s scrubbing of their Xcel Energy criticism likely comes from the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Minnesota and North Dakota chapter, which contributed $300,000 dollars to the 2020 fund, which may have passed the money along to ABM.
LIUNA reached an agreement to support Xcel Energy’s preferred Integrated Resource Plan when the process began in 2019. This plan would force the premature retirement of Xcel’s coal fleet and install thousands of megawatts of wind turbines and solar panels.
These new projects represent a large pool of potential projects for LIUNA, so it stands to reason that they were unhappy that a group they may help finance was attacking Xcel, which is the hand that feeds them.
In the end, Xcel Energy is price gouging by building unreliable, expensive wind and solar facilities and forcing Minnesota families and businesses to pay for it.