Regional Clean Energy News

Making a Difference: Despite regrets, environmentalist sees need to have convictions

Katy Wortel says provoking ire is part of making change

By Jordan Smith jsmith@mankatofreepress.com

(NOTE: Katy Wortel is the co-founder of the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force, which has become the Southcentral Minnesota Clean Energy Council. She is on the Executive Board of the SMCEC.)

When Katy Wortel thinks about her decades of environmental activism, which include six years as a Blue Earth County commissioner, she initially seems preoccupied with regrets. She knows many people came to dislike her.

Wortel was shocked to win the county board’s District 3 seat in 2002. She ran as an ardent environmentalist who made a modest living farming pumpkins and gourds on Pohl Road, where she and her husband own 12 acres and have lived in a brown brick colonial home for about 40 years.

The county board was neglecting negative outcomes of agricultural land use to soil, water and air quality, she felt. She saw a lack of commitment to being responsible stewards of nature.

(Continued here.)


By Briana Baker

Mankato Free Press, March 31, 2021

There is help out there for your energy bills.

More Minnesotans than ever are having difficulty paying their heating and electricity bills amid the pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has funds available for Energy Assistance, and the recently approved federal stimulus includes over $100 million for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, nearly doubling the previous amount of support.

See the letter here.


Mankato Free Press, Feb. 28, 2021

(NOTE: This is not exactly "clean energy" news, but it's something all Minnesotans should know, like "Where do my groceries come from?")

Q: I believe that the gasoline in Mankato comes from the oil refinery in Rosemount. The semi-trucks that deliver the gasoline are pretty large. How many gallons are there in each truck? On an average day, how many truckloads are made to Mankato?

A: There are basically three questions, here: Where does Mankato’s gasoline come from? How many gallons do those big tanker trucks carry? How many daily truckloads are required to keep Mankatoans fueled up?

Ask Us Guy looked long and hard for any indication that the government tracks the source of a city’s gasoline supply and how much is delivered to each city. He found nothing.

But Ask Us Guy wouldn’t be Ask Us Guy if he stopped writing just because he didn’t officially have an “answer.”

So, here goes: (Continued here.)