I read with interest the Eagle’s coverage of the Xcel’s annual “Red Wing community breakfast.” The lede, “Xcel Energy issued a call for community engagement in the utility’s latest resource plan filled with state and federal authorities” was contrary to the reality of the breakfast -- by invitation and no public notice.

This tells me that Xcel wants public engagement from certain members of the public, those deemed “Red Wing area community leaders.” This also tells me they don’t want informed scrutiny of their plans and this lobbying effort.

Those “invited” should make sure their constituents know of these meetings – and the potential for a quorum at the meeting has Open Meeting Law implications.

Many of us in the Red Wing community have great interest and decades of investment in public engagement with Xcel. It appears that we are the “Red Wing community” that Xcel does not want reviewing the public presentation of its plans.

After watching two Prairie Island deals, Xcel’s e21 agenda, its “Steel to Fuel” PR, the recent IRP deal tied to relicensing Monticello, and its success in making transmission and generation infrastructure capital investment a primary and lucrative revenue stream, it’s clear where Xcel is headed, but it’s disturbing to see this sold to my “Red Wing community.”

Jumping on the Xcel, f.k.a. NSP, bandwagon has hurt this community. We’re still trying to recover from the company slashing Utility Personal Property Tax post-1994 in every way possible. Our “good neighbor” pulled the rug out from under every host community and left us reeling.

By the way, was there mention of the 345kV transmission line proposed from Wilmarth (Mankato) - Faribault - North Rochester (Pine Island) that would likely run through southern Goodhue County that’s being added to the MISO list for development?

Public engagement is crucial to representative democracy, but Xcel’s demonstrating that it’s all about their business plan, and the Red Wing community is in the dark. Elected officials should shine the light for true public engagement with Xcel!

Carol Overland

Red Wing