Author, entrepreneur, Stanford educator, international thought leader on disruptive change in energy systems, and recipient of the Clean Energy Action 2017 Sunshine Award:
This week could prove critical in determining Boulder’s energy future, and CEA needs your support.
Xcel Energy has launched a bid to stop Boulder’s 7-year effort toward municipalization in its tracks. One April 17th, the Boulder City Council considers two proposals from Xcel designed to dissuade us from our quest to control our own energy destiny.
Two days later, on April 19th, the Public Utilities Commission is holding an equally critical hearing on a motion to dismiss Boulder’s municipalization case outright.
We need your help to keep municipalization alive!
This is a critical moment for the future of independent municipal utilities in Colorado, so we ask not just Boulder residents but all Coloradans to step up to the plate.
Email the PUC at dora_PUC_complaints@state.co.
- Communities should have a right to determine their energy future and should not be constrained by Xcel’s thinking and corporate constraints
- Under the law of Colorado, Boulder has a constitutional right to form a municipal utility, and it is up to the Commission to protect that right, and make sure it means more than words in a statute book
- At this defining moment in the history of our planet, we need more options than a profit-driven monopoly that remains dependent on fossil fuels for more than 70% of its power generation.
We also ask our supporters to contact the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them to stay the course! We encourage you to remind them that:
- Boulder Energy Future has worked for seven years to build a realistic, reasonable alternative to continued partnership with Xcel.
- Boulder voters have weighed in on this issue not once but several times. In ballot measures in 2011, 2013, and 2014 Boulder’s residents asserted their demand to control their own energy future.
- The two deals proposed by Xcel are both unacceptable, and do not reflect the best interests or desires of the rate-payers of Boulder.
Most importantly, there is a Stay the Course Rally outside the Municipal Building at 1777 Broadway, Boulder CO 80302 from 5:00-6:00 pm before the City Council hearing on Monday April 17th. Please come and show your support for Boulder’s Energy Future and the municipalization effort. Wear green and bring signs or posters. A couple ideas for signs and poster slogans:
- “STAY THE COURSE!”
- “Just Say NO (To Xcel)!”
- “Don’t Give Away Our Energy Future!”
Finally, we ask all of our supporters to be polite and respectful when communicating with the PUC and the City Council. We cannot overstate the importance of addressing our officials in a way that is clear and concise, and also gracious and polite.
Thank you for your support. Together we will make a difference!
Tell our elected officials that the environment matters! April 29th, 2017 is the 100th day of President Donald Trump’s administration. Clean Energy Action is marking the day by joining with the People’s Climate of Colorado, 350 Colorado, and countless other groups in a huge demonstration to highlight our recognition that climate change is real, that it impacts all of us, and that we are committed to solving it.
The PCM in Denver, along with other sister city marches, is happening simultaneously to the People’s Climate March in Washington. Like the Women’s March, the PCM will be a national show of resistance, resolve, and unity.
There are many ways to show your support for our planet:
- Planning to attend? RSVP on Facebook, sign up on Action Network, and tell your friends and family.
- Want to get more involved? Take this survey in order to register to be trained as an PCM Marshal, or check out this training meeting in Denver, and help us make sure the event is a great success!
- The Climate March also needs financial support. Make a donation or purchase one of these awesome T-shirts, and put your dollars to work in defense of our environment.
- You can also be a #climatehero and help spread the word on Facebook and twitter: #peoplesclimatemarch #denverclimatemarch
Hope to see you there!
In a dramatic reversal, Xcel announced today that it plans to phase out all of its coal generation as quickly as possible. This will involve the retirement of billions of dollars’ worth of coal plants, but Xcel has offered to pay these costs, recognizing that it made some bad investments and it’s their duty to make it right.
The announcement emphasized that renewable generation is simply the cheaper option for rate payers and it avoids the expensive maintenance and fuel costs required to keep coal plants running.
“Wind and solar prices have come down so dramatically that they are a shoo in, they are even cheaper than buying coal for existing power plants,” said one utility. “We plan to transition now and stop throwing good money after bad.”
In addition to the economic benefits of transitioning to new technologies, Xcel has voiced concerns about the state of our climate. They are concerned that rising temperatures, increasing numbers of natural disasters, and frightening rises in sea level are too large a price to pay simply to maintain the status quo.
“I visit Glacier National Park each year with my family, and its striking recession has really opened my eyes to the costs of generating dirty electricity,” a manager admitted. “If the government won’t put a price on carbon, we will take on the responsibility of making responsible decisions ourselves.”
Paradigm Shift Leaves Fracking Behind
Perhaps most remarkable, major utilities are joining together in a pledge to phase out fracking by 2020. At a special meeting of the board of Colorado’s largest utility, resolutions were adopted to sign onto the pledge and start new programs to reduce the need for natural gas for heating homes as well. They plan to create pilot programs that will explore many different solutions, from on-bill financing of home efficiency improvements to replacing fracked gas with methanol from hemp and heating homes with solar energy.
“The health hazards to communities near fracking operations are simply too serious,” said the president of the board of directors. “We plan to help these communities transition by replacing fracking operations with solar farms that will create jobs.”
For more information, please check the date stamp.
INNOVATION: MAKING SOLAR MAINSTREAM
When: March 13-17, 2017
Where: The Omni Hotel and Conference Center in Broomfield, Colorado
The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association has been leading the state’s dynamic solar industry for 27 years. Over that time we have experienced massive success, unprecedented growth and had much cause to celebrate.
More information and conference schedule here!
Federal law requires that companies reclaim any land that they disturb through development. This law affects all energy and natural resource sectors, including coal mining, oil and gas mining on federal lands, and wind and solar development on federal lands.
Normally, companies are required to provide financial assurances in the form of cash or assets set aside to guarantee that the land can be reclaimed even if the company goes bankrupt. However, Congress allows the coal mining industry to demonstrate financial assurance through self-bonds, which are simply financial promises with no collateral to back them up.
Since 2015, billions of dollars of reclamation self-bonds have been jeopardized by coal company bankruptcies, subjecting taxpayers to the risk of picking up the tab instead.
Furthermore, a new report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed that the coal mining industry is the only industry in the country that is allowed to self-bond, raising questions about why the coal industry is allowed to play by different rules than other forms of mining and energy production.
The GAO report was requested by several U.S. Senators in the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources including Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington.
“GAO has now confirmed that coal companies are getting a sweet deal at the expense of communities and taxpayers,” Sen. Cantwell said. “It’s time the rules for coal caught up to the rules for other forms of mining and energy production.”