On Monday December 16th, 2013, Clean Energy Action and 303 Vodka will be hosting “Drinks, Music, and the Utility Death Spiral: A Global Warming Solutions Speakeasy,” from 6:30 – 9 pm at 303 Vodka, 2500 47th Street, Boulder, CO 80301.
CEA’s new research director Zane Selvans will introduce the Utility Death Spiral, and talk about why century-old centralized monopoly utilities are failing to meet the challenge of climate change. We’ll also explore how utilities need to evolve if they’re going to successfully integrate efficiency, distributed generation, and demand side resources dispatched over a much smarter grid.
And then, we’ll just hang out and continue the discussion face to face, with some local live music to set the mood. Drinks will be available for purchase.
A rough program:
- 6:30 – 7:00pm — Set-up and Mingling. Get a drink.
- 7:00 – 7:30pm — Short presentation by CEA’s Research Director, Zane Selvans.
- 7:30 – 8:00pm — Q&A and structured discussion
- 8:00 – 9:00pm — Freeform socializing and discussion. (And maybe another drink…)
If you want to get the most out of the evening, we highly recommend Utilities for Dummies, a blog post series by our friend Dave Roberts at Grist.
You can contact us at email@example.com for any questions, comments, concerns, or for more information.
Please register through Eventbrite. The event is free and open to the public, but there is a limited amount of space and we need an accurate count of the number of people attending.
Hope to see you there!
In May of 2013 I gave a talk at Clean Energy Action’s Global Warming Solutions Speaker Series in Boulder, on how we might structure a carbon pricing scheme in Colorado. You can also download a PDF of the slides and watch an edited version of that presentation via YouTube:
The short policy overview:
- We should begin levying a modest carbon tax, in the range of $5 to $25/ton of CO2e.
- The tax must be applied to the fossil fuels used in electricity generation (coal and natural gas). Ideally it should also be applied to gasoline, diesel, natural gas used outside the power sector, and fugitive methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, but those are less important for the moment.
- New electricity generation resources must be allowed to compete economically with the operation of existing carbon-intensive facilities, and fuel costs must not be blindly passed through to consumers without either rigorous regulatory oversight, or utilities sharing fuel price risk.
- Carbon tax revenues should be spent on emissions mitigation, providing reliable, low-cost financing for energy efficiency measures and a standard-offer contract with modest performance-based returns for new renewable generation.
- Over time the carbon price should be increased and applied uniformly across all segments of the economy, with the eventual integration of consumption based emissions footprinting for imported goods.
But wait… I can hear you saying, I thought the Citizen’s Climate Lobby was rallying support for a revenue neutral carbon tax proposal? Even the arch-conservative American Enterprise Institute was looking into it, weren’t they?
Read on to understand why we disagree on the issue of revenue neutrality.