Boulder, we have a friend in Xcel’s hometown of Minneapolis, MN. John Farrell of the Institute of Local Self Reliance has been educating communities for years on the economic benefits of self governance for essentials like energy, banking and waste management. Needless to say he took careful note when Minneapolis looked into municipalization, which did not pass just a few years ago. Today he says: “If I had the chance to go to the polls tomorrow and give Minneapolis the opportunity to take over, I would do it.” See his whole message for Boulder at the link below.
John Farrell has been teaching that “communities have to take control of their energy future, regardless of whether the federal government is a clean energy friend or foe.”
Clean Energy Action’s research has been near the heart of the City of Boulder’s understanding of why working with a coal-based investor-owned utility (IOU) can be so difficult for cities that are serious about clean energy and shutting down fossil-powered generation. We have been early but quiet supporters of local power – a municipal utility created for clean energy generation plus local innovation, more reliability and possibly lower rates.
For years CEA has accessed XcelEnergy’s dockets at the Public Utilities Commission and found the layers of power and law that protect the monopoly’s hold on the electricity market in most of Colorado. From those documents came the truth of the company’s generation plans with the fuel costs being passed straight to ratepayers while the profits go out of state, from the return-on-investment on capital spent on fossil-burning plants. Even as coal proved to have an untenable future with the industry’s many bankruptcies (never mind the climate impacts), Xcel overbuilt its coal burning fleet, and its whole system, for profits.
All of this was done in the face of increasingly visible climate change. All of this was done as the cost-competitiveness of wind power was proven in Xcel’s dockets. All of this was done amid state politics that were unlikely to pass legislation (such as Community Choice Aggregation, or Deregulation) to allow jurisdictions to contract independently for their electricity. Xcel customers have been trapped with Xcel’s foot dragging on clean energy and restrictions on distributed generation & storage, all to protect the “central-gen” model based on fossil-burning plants.
All of this is why CEA embraced the many advantages of municipalization – local municipal power that promises to be more affordable, reliable and responsive to ratepayers than IOU power ever can be. Boulder should continue this journey to find out the true costs of this venture!
With that, we refer you to many fine sources on this:
David Pomerantz will be speaking about the shocking story of electric utilities’ knowledge and cover-up of climate change beginning half a centuryago. Clean Energy Action believes that it is critical that the public hear what Mr. Pomerantz has to say, so this event is free and open to the public. Please join us and invite others!
Morrison, CO – Last week, Governor Hickenlooper announced that Colorado will join the U.S. Climate Alliance. He also released an Executive Order titled “Supporting Colorado’s Clean Energy Transition,” in which he set forth new climate goals for our State.
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC), of which Clean Energy Action is a participating member, is pleased that Colorado will join the U.S. Climate Alliance. We partnered with over 40 other Colorado organizations in June to call on Governor Hickenlooper to sign Colorado on as a member of that group. The U.S. Climate Alliance is committed to upholding the goal set forth by the United States Government when it signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% – 28% compared to 2005 levels by 2025.
In the Executive Order released yesterday, Governor Hickenlooper set a goal of reducing Colorado’s overall GHG emissions by at least 26% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. Although this goal is consistent with the United States’ Paris Agreement goal, it is not consistent with the best available science. To limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5° C (2.7° F), the entire world would need to reduce its GHG emissions to zero by 2050. Reducing Colorado’s emissions by 26% compared to 2005 levels does not put us anywhere close to that path. In fact, the goal established yesterday by Governor Hickenlooper would put us on a path toward catastrophic global climate change that is only slightly less steep than the “business as usual” path.
Since 2015, the CCLC and CEA have called for Colorado to reduce its statewide GHG emissions to zero by 2030. We repeat that call today, and demand that Governor Hickenlooper establish new interim goals that will contribute to preserving a livable climate for future generations.
Clean Energy Action was founded more than a decade ago on the principle that education and empowering community action is the key to accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy and resilient economy. While technological and important regulatory challenges persist, the true challenge comes in mobilizing the knowledge we have at our disposal and implementing it throughout our communities and our marketplaces.
Clean Energy Action has traditionally recognized our amazing supporters and advocates for all they personally do for people and planet. Our 10th Anniversary Sunshine Award acknowledges these individuals who have made significant contributions in the dissemination of new ideas, technologies and concepts and who, like the sun, take the light and heat of human ingenuity and help it to find its way out of academic journals and laboratories and into the mainstream of our culture and economy.
We at CEA could think of no one more deserving of this honor than Mr. Tony Seba. As the author of several books, including Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation and Solar Trillions, as an educator at Stanford University, and as a leader in business and technology, Tony Seba exemplifies the qualities we seek to recognize with this award. Mr. Seba’s work has aided the cause of sustainability immeasurably, both by shedding light on the progress that has been made and by helping to illuminate the way forward, and it is in recognition of this work that we are honored to name or friend and sustainability champion the recipient of the 2017 Clean Energy Action Sunshine Award.
Thanks to Martin Voelker with the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, you can watch Tony Seba’s keynote address here.
Congratulations and our deepest gratitude to Tony Seba for traveling to Boulder to receive CEA’s 10th Anniversary Sunshine Award and for his inspiring work.
CEA’s Soirée was only the beginning of Tony’s trip– He also led a Transportation Strategy Session on Friday June 9, with over 30 regional government & transportation representatives hosted by CEA and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado.
Abundant thanks to everyone who contributed to the event! This opportunity would not have been possible without the work and generosity of our host committee, the CU Museum of Natural History, Hunter Lovins, the CU Environmental Center, and everyone who showed up to support CEA.