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We’ve all seen the headlines about the electrical grid failure in Texas, where about 90% of their energy comes from burning fossil fuels. Did you know we have similar systems here in Minnesota that may not be as resilient as we will need in the rapidly changing climate of our future?

Electric energy lines criss-cross Minnesota in a web that comfortably and dependably brings electric energy right to the walls of our homes. Most of that grid in rural areas like Scott, Carver, and Le Sueur counties was created in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, and was organized to keep electricity under local rural control, and out of the hands of business profiteers.

Sounds great, but do we really use the democratic power we have to make sure our electricity will be there when we need it? Unfortunately, with all the busyness of our modern lives, few of us take the time to make sure our electric system is resilient and safe for future generations.

For the sake of our families locally we all need to understand what our electric company’s policies are around developing local power sources, increasing energy storage locally, and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

On March 6 our local Minnesota Valley Electric Co-op will be mailing ballots to all of their member owners. We can all have a say in who becomes the new governing board of the Co-op. Please be on the lookout for your ballot and vote wisely with our future in mind! The nonprofit Clean Up Our River Environment (CURE) has an Energy Democracy Program which provides helpful information about our Minnesota energy co-ops including MVEC. They’ve even created an Electric Co-op report card. You can learn more at www.cureriver.org under Energy Democracy.

Paula Thomsen