A “New ERA” for MN rural communities & electric co-ops
CURE celebrates $9.7 billion in federal funds available for clean energy investments
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2023 — Rural leaders from across the country recently gathered at the White House to mark the release of the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program. The program makes $9.7 billion of federal investment available to rural electric cooperatives that will leverage almost $40 billion of investment in rural energy infrastructure. The program prioritizes investments that create rural jobs, save rural people money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
CURE Supports EPA Decision to Deny Permit for Coal Creek Toxic Ash Disposal
Montevideo, Minnesota, April 19, 2023 – Minnesota-based rural advocacy organization CURE is supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to deny a permit to the Rainbow Energy Center (formally known as Coal Creek Station) in North Dakota that would have allowed the coal-fired power plant to continue to dump toxic coal ash into its aging and failing storage pit. Coal ash is linked to risks of cancer, neurological and cognitive impairments, and cardiovascular harm.
CURE says PUC “got it wrong”— Petitions for reconsideration on scope of Environmental Review for CO2 pipeline
Montevideo, MN, February 28, 2023 – CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) is arguing that there is nothing hypothetical about Summit Carbon Solutions’ (Summit) plans for an extensive CO2 pipeline network in Minnesota. On Monday, February 27, Montevideo-based CURE petitioned the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reconsider its February 6, 2023, decision to deny CURE’s Citizen Petition for environmental review of the entirety of Summit’s CO2 pipeline project in southern and western Minnesota. The PUC justified its decision by arguing that because Summit has only filed a route application for one leg of its much larger pipeline network, the other portions of the project remain “hypothetical” and are not subject to review. According to Summit’s public comments over the past 19 months and public maps, nearly 240 miles of pipeline are planned for Minnesota crossing Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Martin, Otter Tail, Redwood, Renville, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine counties.
Minnesota regulators vote to require environmental review for proposed hazardous CO2 pipeline—but only for 2 out of 10 impacted counties
Montevideo, Minnesota, January 10, 2023 — Last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously voted to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as a necessary component of the permitting process for Summit Carbon Solutions’ (Summit) carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline. In doing so, the PUC denied Summit’s attempt to fast-track the review process of its hazardous CO2 pipeline project and agreed with Montevideo-based CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) and the majority of organizations, Tribes, and individual Minnesotans who weighed in during the recent comment period requesting a rigorous environmental review. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is the most extensive environmental review the PUC can require and is commonly done on large projects such as oil pipelines.
CURE applauds PUC decision requiring environmental review for CO2 pipeline but troubled by limited scope
St. Paul, Minnesota, January 6, 2023 — On Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously voted to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as a necessary component of the permitting process for Summit Carbon Solutions’ (Summit) carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline. In doing so, the PUC denied Summit’s attempt to fast–track the review process of its hazardous CO2 pipeline project and agreed with CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) and the majority of organizations, Tribes, and individual Minnesotans who weighed in during the recent comment period requesting a rigorous environmental review.
CURE applauds Minnesota Supreme Court decision affirming Limbo Creek in Renville County is a protected public water
St. Paul Minnesota, October 4, 2022 — In a ruling last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed that Limbo Creek, the last free-flowing stream in Renville County, is a protected public water. This ruling means that any drainage projects for the creek must go through an environmental review. CURE (Clean Up the River Environment), a Montevideo-based rural organization, applauds this ruling as a win for the health of the severely impaired Minnesota River, downstream communities, and all Minnesotans.
Landowners express concern as Summit Carbon Solutions submits CO2 pipeline route permit application to PUC for Otter Tail & Wilkin Counties
St. Paul, MN, September 21, 2022 – Earlier this month, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions (Summit) submitted its first route permit application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties section of its proposed Midwest Carbon Express CO2 pipeline network in Minnesota. This leg of the project is 28.1 miles, a small fraction of the more than 212 miles of highly pressurized hazardous liquid CO2 pipeline proposed for Minnesota. Submitting a permit application to the PUC is one of many steps Summit needs to take before they can begin the construction of any CO2 pipelines in Minnesota. Summit’s proposed CO2 pipeline network will cut through Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Martin, Otter Tail, Redwood, Renville, Wilkin, and Yellow Medicine Counties.
CURE raises concerns about Summit Carbon Solutions’ CO2 pipeline—Route permit application submitted to PUC for Otter Tail & Wilkin Counties
ST. PAUL, MN, September 20, 2022 — In the past week, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions (Summit) submitted its first route permit application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties section of its proposed Midwest Carbon Express CO2 pipeline network in Minnesota. This leg of the project is 28.1 miles, a small fraction of the more than 212 miles of highly pressurized hazardous liquid CO2 pipeline proposed for Minnesota. The PUC ruled in June that they have jurisdiction over the siting of CO2 pipelines.
Rural Minnesota-based CURE helps win $9.7 billion for Rural Electric Co-ops in Inflation Reduction Act
MONTEVIDEO, MINNESOTA, August 17, 2022 — CURE, a Montevideo-based rural democracy organization, led the national Rural Power Coalition to help secure $9.7 billion in funding for Rural Electric Co-ops as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. These funds will help rural Americans save money, invest in clean energy, and create 90,000 jobs. Just as the Rural Electrification Act improved rural life for the better in the 1930s, the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act help rural people and places thrive and lead today.
CURE helps win $9.7 billion in clean energy funding for Rural Electric Co-ops in Inflation Reduction Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. August 16, 2022 — Today with the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, America is making its most significant investment ever in rural electrification, with $9.7 billion available to Rural Electric Cooperatives for new clean energy investments. The USDA Assistance for Rural Electric Cooperatives Program will help rural Americans save money, invest in clean energy, and create 90,000 jobs. CURE, a rural Minnesota-based democracy organization, led the Rural Power Coalition— seven place-based organizations located in the most carbon-intensive electric co-ops in the country—to help secure this monumental funding for clean energy and rural economies. Just as the Rural Electrification Act helped rural communities fully participate in the 20th-century economy, the Inflation Reduction Act will connect rural residents with 21st-century clean energy economic opportunities.
Concern about Summit Carbon Solution’s proposed CO2 pipeline & shady tactics brings landowners together
LAMBERTON, MN, July 28, 2022 – Concern over a proposed CO2 pipeline in southwest Minnesota and the conduct of pipeline company, Summit Carbon Solutions, spurred nearly 60 landowners and community members from Redwood and Cottonwood Counties to meet on the evening of Friday, July 15th. In Minnesota, sections of Summit’s proposed high pressure CO2 pipeline network will cut through Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Martin, Redwood, Renville, and Yellow Medicine Counties and a northern leg crosses Otter Tail and Wilkin Counties.
Great River Energy’s dual fuel plan for Cambridge power plant ordered to undergo Environmental Review
ST. PAUL, MN, June 29, 2022 – Last week, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) ordered an environmental review of Great River Energy’s (GRE) plan to convert the Cambridge 2 natural gas peaking plant into a “dual fuel” facility—one that burns either natural gas or fuel oil. GRE called this proposal a “minor alteration” that was not subject to further review. But the Commission determined that the project has the potential for significant environmental impacts and granted the petition for environmental review submitted by CURE (Clean Up the River Environment), PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), and the Sierra Club North Star Chapter.
CURE applauds PUC decision to exert authority over hazardous CO2 pipelines
ST. PAUL, MN, June 6, 2022 – In a recent decision, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously voted that it has existing authority over carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines. Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator Ventures LLC each have proposed multi-state CO2 pipeline projects that will cross Minnesota. As these pipelines will be transporting highly pressurized CO2 in a hazardous state, the PUC will need to permit the routes. The PUC agreed with the positions of CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) and other organizational partners, Tribes, and labor unions—it’s in the best interest of Minnesotans for the currently proposed or any future CO2 pipelines to have state-level review and oversight.
Rural Power Coalition Asks Congress to Increase Support for Rural Electric Cooperatives to Spur Recovery and Energy Transition
MONTEVIDEO, MN, February 23, 2021 – The Rural Power Coalition (RPC) is calling on Congress to enact seven policies to support rural electric cooperatives in transitioning to a more sustainable electric grid. The crippling of Texas’ power grid by a cold snap is a tragic yet timely reminder of the importance of rural infrastructure, especially as the United States considers massive COVID-19 relief and climate change-related infrastructure investments.
Minnkota’s Project Tundra is a bad investment for electric co-op member-owners
MONTEVIDEO, MN, September 29, 2020 – There are serious financial concerns with Minnkota Electric Cooperative’s proposed Project Tundra at its Milton R. Young coal plant in Center, ND. The Institute on Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that Project Tundra could cost rural electric co-op member-owners hundreds of millions in a new report “Project Tundra: A Step in the Wrong Direction.”
Minnesota suing “big oil” over Climate Change lies
MONTEVIDEO, MN, June 24, 2020 – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that the State of Minnesota had filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute (API). For decades ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, Koch Industries, Minnesota’s largest oil refiner, and API, the national trade association for the oil and gas industry, knew that their actions and products were causing climate change—and did nothing but lie. These companies continued to profit mightily for decade after decade while maintaining a disinformation campaign. Today, Minnesota is finally taking action to hold them accountable.
Great River Energy Announces an End to Coal
MONTEVIDEO, MN, May 8, 2020 – Great River Energy (GRE) announced Thursday that it would close one of its two remaining coal-fired power plants and repower the other with natural gas; both are in North Dakota. It will also shift new investment to cleaner, more affordable wind power to the benefit of the rural electric co-op member-owners it serves. Wholesale power costs are expected to drop 12-13%. Carbon pollution will be reduced by 95%. GRE serves 28 electric distribution cooperatives, 24 in Minnesota.
Rural citizens say “Yes” to Clean Cars
ST. PAUL, MN, February 26, 2020 – Today, the Minnesota State Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee is meeting to introduce a bill that revokes the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) authority to set standards for auto emissions. This specifically targets MPCA’s ability to adopt a Clean Cars Standard. Minnesotans for Clean Cars, a statewide coalition, is advocating for the adoption of a Clean Cars Standard by the MPCA. Some lawmakers argue that a Clean Cars Standard would be harmful to rural Minnesota. Many rural Minnesotans strongly disagree and wonder why some Minnesota leaders are trying to stop a measure that will save Minnesotans money, improve air quality and health, reduce climate pollution, provide more vehicle choice, and help all Minnesotans be part of a clean energy future.
‘Blitz the Prairie’ June 22 at Big Stone Lake State Park
ORTONVILLE, MN June 3, 2019 — Are you a prairie enthusiast ready to share your knowledge and passion with others? Looking for a fun family day that also supports public lands? Want an opportunity to discover a new dragonfly species in western Minnesota? Interested in learning about the connection between conservation grazing and healthy ecosystems? Join naturalists, farmers, and other local residents for a tallgrass prairie “BioBlitz” Saturday, June 22.
New Report Shows Minnesota Rural Electric Co-ops Websites Come Up Short
Montevideo, MN November 14, 2018 — A Minnesota rural advocacy group recently released a report showing that Rural Electric Co-ops (RECs) in Minnesota fall short of providing basic online information for their member-owners. The Rural Electric Cooperative Report Card documents what information is made available to co-op member-owners on the websites of the 43 Minnesota Rural Electric Cooperatives. The report, produced by CURE, can be found on its Minnesota Local Energy Project website at www.mnlocalenergyproject.org.
CURE celebrates “Water, Women & Democracy” on July 28th
Montevideo, MN, July 2, 2018 — Join CURE on the banks of the Minnesota River to celebrate our water, honor female leaders, and learn about the roots of democracy! “Water, Women & Democracy” will be held on Saturday, July 28 from 10 am – 10 pm at Wegdahl County Park.
The Art of Caucusing: Training for a Stronger Democracy — CURE’s Rural Democracy Project helps citizens build governing power
Montevideo, MN, January 8, 2018 — How do we make a future that works for all of us? How do we support a people’s agenda—a platform that recognizes and advances the needs and desires of all people to thrive in a healthy and just world? Join CURE’s non-partisan Rural Democracy Project at “The Art of Caucusing: Trainings for a Stronger Democracy” to learn how to caucus and more fully participate in the democratic process. This month CURE is hosting seven trainings throughout west central and southwestern Minnesota.
McKnight Foundation Renews CURE Support
Montevideo, MN, February 19, 2015 — CURE is proud to announce that our long-standing relationship with the McKnight Foundation will continue through 2015 and 2016. In November of last year, CURE received word that the board of the McKnight Foundation approved a two-year grant to support the organization’s Water Program.
Land Stewardship Project and CURE to host Soil Carbon Challenge Event
Morris, MN, February 17, 2015 — The Land Stewardship Project and CURE are coming together to co-sponsor a Soil Carbon Challenge presentation and discussion on Saturday, February 21, at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris.
CURE Promotes Clean Energy in Legislative Session
Montevideo, MN, January 23, 2015 — n the 2015 Legislative Session, CURE will be working in partnership with the Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign to move the state legislature to transition our state to clean, renewable energy like wind and solar and improve energy efficiency. CURE is providing transportation and the opportunity for people to meet with their legislators at the State Capital on Monday, February 2.
- 5/13/2014: CURE recognizes excellence in environmental stewardship work
- 5/13/2014: Kylene Olson recipient of CURE’s 2013 RiverKeeper Award for outstanding watershed work