All posts by RJ Harrington

Colorado Gives Day

Update: We wanted to say thanks to everyone who donated to Clean Energy Action on Colorado Gives Day. We truly appreciate all of your support.

We will continue to be your voice and stand up for a stable climate. We know that we have a long way to go to get our energy system on track. There is a lot of work to do and we are doing our best to keep the conversation in Colorado focused on what would will take to rapidly shift to a clean, renewable energy society. To find out more about what we’ve been up to, see the two recent Clean Energy Action articles below.

Give Where You Live For Colorado Gives Day!

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Thanks to everyone who contributed last year! Clean Energy Action was the recipient of a $5,000 1st Bank bonus due to your generosity. We are eligible again if we exceed last year’s commitments. Please be as generous as you can and we may receive an even larger bonus.

A recurring contribution set to begin on December 9th will help keep CEA healthy all year long and count toward a possible bonus. All transaction costs are covered by 1st Bank and other sponsors so that every dollar goes to our work.

Set up your recurring donation today!
Why contribute to Clean Energy Action?

We are still one of the only voices in Colorado advocating for shutting down our fossil fueled infrastructure once and for all. CEA tears down the pillars that support climate instability and builds up the pillars that support climate stability. We understand that there are both environmental and economic risks to continued fossil dependence. While many have championed the conversion of coal fired plants to gas as a result of 2010 Clean Air Clean Jobs Act (CACJA), Clean Energy Action understands that statewide we have actually committed to increasing our overall emissions in Colorado when Xcel’s investments in new coal are included.  These policies have allowed Xcel to add $1B in fossil (both gas and coal retrofits) infrastructure to its generation mix.

Our work this year to date:

Our small staff accomplishes incredible tasks thanks to your support, and our team of interns and volunteers multiply our efforts. Here is an overview of our work from 2014:

  • Our featured posts are now syndicated nationwide on The Energy Collective, including promotion to their over 45,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Our work on Xcel’s ongoing rate case (14AL-0660E) at the Colorado Public Utility Commission has revealed a trove of information:
    • We understand just how cheap Xcel’s fossil plants are compared to the fuel that they commit us to burning.
    • Xcel’s Colorado ratepayers spent ~$550M on fuel in 2013.  About $370M of that was for coal — and as we’ve long pointed out… those coal costs are not decreasing!
    • The value of Xcel’s fossil power plants is $4B today ($2.9B of which is coal) and will increase to $5B as a result of CACJA cost recovery.
    • This means we spend more on fuel every 10 years than all the fossil plants are worth today.  And for coal it’s more like every 8 years.
  • Through our Citizen Power program, CEA has communicated the truth of the fossil fuel cost pass through (aka the Electricity Commodity Adjustment or ECA) to hundreds of citizens and dozens of legislators.
    • Legislation to change this may be introduced, but the fossil lobby will fight hard for the status quo.
    • We created videos to make the wonky Electric Commodity Adjustment digestible.
  • Clean Energy Action has developed energy literacy in hundreds of students in Boulder County with our energy bike and related energy education program.
With your support, our work in 2015:
  • CEA will develop software to comb through FERC, EPA, EIA and other databases to facilitate local communities understanding the costs of fuel and plants in their own neighborhoods.
    • This data will lead others to close dirty fossil plants instead of paying for dirty fossil fuels.
    • Quickly shutting down fossil plants in every state faster than the Clean Power Plan could hope to achieve.
  • Clean Energy Action has been selected as energy educators for many political representatives in CO.
    • The economics of boom and bust fossil jobs will be easily contrasted with the lasting benefit of jobs repowering the grid.
    • We will drive understanding of the myriad risks of continued fossil dependence.
  • Xcel Colorado may submit a new decoupling proposal and CEA will be prepared to intervene to make certain it’s the best deal for a stable climate.
  • Xcel Colorado will submit their quadrennial Electric Resource Plan (ERP) in fall 2015.
    • Clean Energy Action will expose the folly of discounting future fossil fuel costs.
    • This will rapidly change the generation mix away from fossils toward fuel free renewables.
Set up your recurring donation today!

You give to Clean Energy Action because you know we’re effective. We don’t charge a membership fee and all of our events are free thanks to the community of support. Please keep giving where you live to keep us strong and viable. Your voice is amplified by CEA’s voice across Colorado and the nation.

THANK YOU!

Sample of CEA Work

Sample 2014 Featured Articles
Xcel Rate Case – Decoupling
Face the Risk – Explaining the Electric Commodity Adjustment

What is the Electric Commodity Adjustment and How Does it Relate to Your Electric Bill and Renewable Energy?

Let It Shine

An Evening with John Perlin
Author, Lecturer, Consultant
Solar Energy & Forest Preservation

Together with the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, Boulder County Chapter we welcome John Perlin presenting his latest work:  Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy.

Wednesday, October 1st, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Boulder, CO
1820 15th St, Boulder, CO 80302

“With remarkable depth, breadth, and precision, John Perlin lays out humankind’s long reliance on the sun before the carbon era and points the way to a healthy, comfortable, productive, resilient solar-powered world. There is more intelligence and common sense in this volume than in all the federal reports on energy of the last quarter-century combined.”

— Denis Hayes, former director of the federal Solar Energy Research Institute and founder of the Earth Day Network.

Let It Shine shows how today’s renewable revolution builds on the tenacious efforts of countless generations of innovators whose vision we may finally be privileged enough to bring to full flower.”

— from the foreword by Amory B. Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Previous books:

From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. Ann Arbor, MI: aatec publications, 1999 (cloth); Harvard University Press, November, 2002 (paper) [Translated into Italian and serialized in Photovoltaic Magazine]

A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989 (cloth); Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991, 5th Printing, 2001 (paper). New Norton Edition, Countryman Press Imprint, fall, 2005. [Translated into Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish]

A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Energy. (With Ken Butti.) New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980. [Translated into Japanese and Spanish]

Strong Support for Net Metering at the PUC Public Hearing

I testified with many of you at Monday’s CO PUC public comment session on net metering. It was a huge success with almost 100 pro-solar supporters showing up filling both PUC hearing rooms and over-flowing into the halls – thanks to the mobilizing efforts of all of you! The crowd was a diverse mix – ranchers, teachers, moms – but the message was consistent: Coloradans overwhelmingly support protecting policies that are making rooftop solar more affordable and accessible to Coloradans. Unfortunately the Denver Post’s coverage of the event did’t quite illustrate the tremendous outpouring of support for net metering and rooftop solar on display.

The commentors were articulate and passionate, noting that rooftop solar makes the grid stronger, gives consumers control over their energy futures, helps our state diversify its economy and safeguard its environment. These impassioned rooftop solar supporters outnumbered the few detractors 16 to 1.

Yesterday’s public comment session was an opportunity for the public to let the Commission know that as they embark on evaluating net metering, the public wants a transparent and inclusive process that fairly values the benefits of rooftop solar.

Public participation couldn’t be more important given that Xcel Energy has already filed comments asking for a process that limits meaningful stakeholder engagement and puts Xcel right back in the driver’s seat.

If you couldn’t make it out to the public comment session, it’s still not to late to speak up in support of a fair and transparent process for evaluating rooftop solar. Click here to let your Commissioners know that you are paying attention to this issue. We can’t let Xcel hold all of the cards when it comes to charting the path forward for Colorado’s clean energy.

We’ll be back in touch soon with next steps in the campaign to protect rooftop solar in Colorado.

Can you help us spread the word about the actual facts of the day? Please tweet and post one of the following from our friends at Vote Solar:

Continue reading Strong Support for Net Metering at the PUC Public Hearing

Do the Math Tour Begins – Stops at Glenn Miller Ballroom, Boulder December 2nd

DOTHEMATH tour logoOur colleagues at 350.org rolled out their Do the Math tour yesterday in Seattle. President and Co-Founder, Bill McKibben, is on a cross-country journey to mobilize Citizen Power in defense of our climate and Clean Energy Action is proud to support the stop at the Glenn Miller Ballroom on December 2nd.

The Math that is referenced is simple and powerful:

  1. 2° C – the upper limit of additional warming the planet can handle without catastrophic climate change
  2. 565 gigatons – the amount of carbon that can be burned to stay at or below 2°
  3. 2,795 gigatons – the amount of carbon that fossil fuel companies have in “reserve” and plan to burn

We can’t allow #3 to happen and the Do the Math tour builds on the impact of the July 19th article that Bill wrote in Rolling Stone.

The math compels us to continue to be in action and we ask you to join us on December 2nd to learn additional ways to support our vision to accelerate the transition to a post fossil fuel economy. Like our post on facebook and we’ll see you in December…