CURE’s Energy Democracy Program is uniquely focused on strategies to impact climate, energy, and environmental justice decisions affecting rural residents. Energy Democracy is about building power to address linkages between environmental challenges, inequities, and other systemic challenges facing our communities.
You can’t talk about Energy Democracy in rural communities without talking about Rural Electric Co-ops. One in three Minnesotans gets their electricity from a Rural Electric Co-op (REC). REC’s are democratically owned and operated utilities that were created during the New Deal to electrify rural America. However, the operations of Minnesota’s RECs today lack transparency and good governance.
CURE is a national leader in the REC reform movement. In service to aligning the priorities of Minnesota’s REC’s to their cooperative founding principles, CURE has organized member-owners to change REC priorities: grow transparency in REC governance, build grassroots power, and fight against the REC’s reliance on dirty electricity from coal instead transitioning their electricity generation to renewable, community-based energy sources that would be cheaper for their member-owners and be a source of rural economic growth.
CURE’s Energy Democracy Program is helping deliver clean electricity, energy efficiency, climate justice, and economic justice to rural communities and positive climate and energy impacts to all Minnesotans.
Energy Democracy is:
- Clean – Energy produced without the release of greenhouse gases, for example, wind and solar power
- Local – Energy produced and owned in our communities and by our neighbors
- Democratic – Community having a voice and power in the decision-making about our energy future