Voices of Minnesota

Minnesota Powerline Oral History Project


DATE: 1977-1979

INTERVIEWER: Edward P. Nelson

The Minnesota Powerline Oral History Project documents the controversy which arose from the routing of a high-voltage powerline through western Minnesota. The controversy escalated as costs of the project rose and additional frustration was created by cumbersome review processes, and by what many protesters saw as excessive concern by the federal and state governments for wildlife areas and highway right of way at the expense of protection for productive farmland.

The narrators represent all major viewpoints including farmers and townspeople from the affected areas, officials from the Department of Natural Resources, officers and board members of the electric cooperatives building the line, representatives of the Governor's office, and several state legislators. The interviews varied with the nature of each narrator's involvement in the controversy, but all were correlated to provide a firm base for comparison of views and motivation.

COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Edward P. Nelson performed all of the basic research, maintained project files, and conducted all of the interviews for this project. He framed the interview questions in consultation with James E. Fogerty.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 68 hours 47 minutes

TRANSCRIPTS: 2,331 pages