Energy Democracy

Six Highlights about CURE’s Energy Democracy Work

1) Energy Program -> Energy Democracy

Historically, CURE’s Energy Program focused on clean energy and climate change issues. Now, CURE is moving our work to include PEOPLE in those issues. CURE’s definition of Energy Democracy is having communities involved directly in their energy systems’ decision-making process. Democratic involvement is key in a clean energy economy.

CURE is a national leader in the Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) reform movement. The Rural Electric Co-op reform movement wants RECs to be: faithful to their founding democratic values AND centered around decentralized clean energy generation.

2) We Own It

CURE was part of the inaugural Cooperative Democracy Fellowship through We Own It. We Own It is a national network of organizations working on co-op reform. As part of this network, CURE shared our extensive knowledge about rural electric co-ops and learned from others in the field. CURE staff also received high-level training from leaders who were instrumental in the 2008 Obama campaign.

3) Coalition Building for Energy Democracy

CURE’s democracy work is bolstered by strong coalitions with ally organizations.

Minnesota Farmers Union & National Farmers Union

By organizing with Farmers Union members, CURE has built support for Rural Electric Co-op reform and Energy Democracy within these groups.

Our Minnesota Future

CURE’s Energy Democracy work was strengthened by our involvement in the Our Minnesota Future coalition—22 people driven organizations working to change the face of politics in Minnesota.

Powershift Network & New Economy Coalition

CURE joined the Powershift Network which focuses on getting young people involved in the climate movement. CURE is also a part of the New Economy Coalition which brings 200+ organizations from across the US together to move communities towards a new economy.

4) Erik at the Obama Foundation Summit!

Last fall, Erik Hatelstad, CURE’s Energy Democracy Organizer was honored with an invitation to the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. He had the opportunity to share CURE’s work with inspiring young leaders from around the world. It was an incredible experience to learn from some of the world brightest minds. CURE is known across Minnesota as an organization that “punches above its weight” and our work in Energy Democracy continues to prove that.
Midwest delegates to the Inaugural Obama Foundation Summit. (L to R) Hukun Abdullahi, formerly with the Afro-American Development Association; Allison Renville with Dakota for the Americas; and Erik Hatelstad with CURE.

5) 2017 win at the Minnesota State Capitol

During the 2017 legislative session CURE led the opposition to HF 234, which deregulated rural electric co-ops and allowed them to charge unchecked fees on their members with small wind and solar installations. CURE members showed up and barraged legislators and Governor Dayton with thousands of letters, calls, and emails in opposition to this bill. It was CURE’s decisive action that earned Governor Dayton’s first veto of the year.
CURE members learning more about on-farm solar energy generation at Pasture’s A Plenty Farm near Kerkhoven, MN.

6) Wind & Solar Field Day

CURE also has hosted field days to showcase CURE members who are putting solar and wind installations at their homes, farms, and businesses. Jim & LeeAnn VanDerPol of Pastures A Plenty and Marv & Judi Boike of Boike Farm hosted a field day at their farms featuring their solar and wind installations in July 2017.
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