Contact:Mike Zipko651-269-8756, email@example.comJuly 24, 2013
For Immediate Release
Minneapolis Residents Overwhelmingly Oppose Referendum AuthorizingA City Takeover of Electric and Gas Utilities
Large majority prefer City and utilities work together to meet energy goals
Minneapolis residents are satisfied with their current electric and gas utilities, andoppose a plan to replace Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy with city-owned utilities. These results were partof a public opinion survey of likely voters released today by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.By a margin of 64 percent to 33 percent, likely voters oppose a referendum creating a city-owned utility. One-quarter of likely voters strongly oppose the referendum, with only three percent strongly in support.
Minneapolis already receives nearly half of its electricity from carbon-free sources, and this survey shows thatthere is a great deal of confidence in our current utilities to continue help the community meet future energygoals
,” said Todd Klingel, president & CEO, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
matches up withwhat I have been hearing in my conversations with our members, labor leaders and community groups acrossMinneapolis. They believe the current partnerships with our utilities are working and do not want to riskabandoning those relationships in favor of a city-owned and operated utility.
Residents were also asked their opinion on the best energy strategy for the future. Forty-three percent want tosee Minneapolis complete its Energy Pathways Study and then work together with the current utilities toachieve its energy goals. Forty-two percent believe the City should spend less time on energy issues and shift itsattention to other concerns. Only 12 percent agreed the City should move quickly to take more control overenergy companies, such as buying them and operating them as city-owned utilities.The Minneapolis City Council has scheduled public hearings for August 1 that could lead to a vote to ask votersto authorize city-owned utilities. By a margin of 59 percent to 38 percent, survey respondents oppose spendingthe public money needed to buy the existing assets of the current utilities, a step required by state law. Wheninformed that the cost of this purchase could exceed $2 billion, an overwhelming 77 percent of residents saidhaving to spend that amount of money made them less likely to believe a city-owned utility is a good idea.Residents in the survey were satisfied with the current direction of Minneapolis on energy issues. Ninety-threepercent believe that Minneapolis is a healthy place to live, and 71 percent agree the Energy Pathways Study is agood investment.