The City of Red Wing, Minnesota, contains various harmful facilities owned by Xcel Energy (Northern States Power Company of Minnesota).
These include two nuclear power reactors, two garbage burner units, and an nuclear waste cask parking lot.
Of course it’s no secret that utilities tend to accumulate great political, economic, and psychological power in the places they operate. A place like Red Wing, where Xcel pays a lot of taxes and employs many residents, can become, and has become, a caricature of a self-governing community. I’m not sure the Minnesota Legislature is a lot better.
Utilities are facing a world of change, of technological obsolesence, a world of existential threats, which are making them ever more aggressive and unscrupulous. How, with electricity getting cheaper at the wholesale level, can they keep screwing their customers with rate increases? Continue Reading →