Category Archives: Politics

In Case You Missed It: Stranded Assets Panel Discussion

Just this last May, Clean Energy Action held an impactful panel on the increasingly important topic of stranded assets. As we move away from coal and other less optimal energy production methods, we must consider what we are leaving behind in order to ensure this movement is in fact of the utmost benefit. Stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector are asset investments that no longer contribute to a company’s profitability; specifically, assets involved in the extraction or burning of the fuels themselves. This panel discussed the complex legal challenges surrounding the purchasing of these stranded assets from companies in order to preserve our slow-but-steady transition away from fossil fuels.

This fascinating and informative panel (which can be seen in its entirety here) was introduced and explained by Leslie Glustrom, co-founder of Clean Energy Action, with over 10 years of experience in Colorado’s energy field. She outlined the stranded asset issue, specifically geared towards the absurdity of Xcel Energy looking for its customers to pay for their stranded assets. Her contribution to the panel can be seen from the beginning until minute 25:20. The next panel speaker was Jacqui Patterson, who is the Director of the NAACP’s Environment and Climate Justice program. Ms. Patterson, with her extensive expertise, did a marvelous job in explaining how we start to tackle this complicated transition so that it is fair for the fossil fuel industry workers, as well as the individuals who pay the bills. Her presentation slides, titled “Energy Equity – Paving a Pathway to a Just Transition,” can be found here. In the video capture of the panel, her section can be seen from minute 25:20 to minute 50:40. The final panel participant was Mariel Nanasi, who is the Executive Director of New Energy Economy in New Mexico. Her portion of the panel focused on her organization’s recent successes in the realm of stranded asset decisions, and how these powerful examples of positive change can be used for future asset decisions in Colorado. Her expertise and awesome panel contribution can be seen from minute 50:40 to minute 1:17:20.

The panel disseminated impactful and important information and we implore you to watch the video, hit the hyperlinks, and do some research of your own about the tricky issue in the way of a complete, rapid, and just transition away from fossil fuels: stranded assets.

In Case You Missed It: Stranded Assets Panel Discussion

Just this last May, Clean Energy Action held an impactful panel on the increasingly important topic of stranded assets. As we move away from coal and other less optimal energy production methods, we must consider what we are leaving behind in order to ensure this movement is in fact of the utmost benefit. Stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector are asset investments that no longer contribute to a company’s profitability; specifically, assets involved in the extraction or burning of the fuels themselves. This panel discussed the complex legal challenges surrounding the purchasing of these stranded assets from companies in order to preserve our slow-but-steady transition away from fossil fuels.

This fascinating and informative panel (which can be seen in its entirety here) was introduced and explained by Leslie Glustrom, co-founder of Clean Energy Action, with over 10 years of experience in Colorado’s energy field. She outlined the stranded asset issue, specifically geared towards the absurdity of Xcel Energy looking for its customers to pay for their stranded assets. Her contribution to the panel can be seen from the beginning until minute 25:20. The next panel speaker was Jacqui Patterson, who is the Director of the NAACP’s Environment and Climate Justice program. Ms. Patterson, with her extensive expertise, did a marvelous job in explaining how we start to tackle this complicated transition so that it is fair for the fossil fuel industry workers, as well as the individuals who pay the bills. Her presentation slides, titled “Energy Equity – Paving a Pathway to a Just Transition,” can be found here. In the video capture of the panel, her section can be seen from minute 25:20 to minute 50:40. The final panel participant was Mariel Nanasi, who is the Executive Director of New Energy Economy in New Mexico. Her portion of the panel focused on her organization’s recent successes in the realm of stranded asset decisions, and how these powerful examples of positive change can be used for future asset decisions in Colorado. Her expertise and awesome panel contribution can be seen from minute 50:40 to minute 1:17:20.

The panel disseminated impactful and important information and we implore you to watch the video, hit the hyperlinks, and do some research of your own about the tricky issue in the way of a complete, rapid, and just transition away from fossil fuels: stranded assets.

Save the Dates: Cleaning Up Valmont Coal Ash

 

Please Save the Dates &
Submit Comments to Your Commissioners!

Informational Presentation by Nancy LaPlaca
Boulder Public Libary – George Reynolds Branch
3595 Table Mesa Drive
Boulder, CO 80305
Monday, May 7th 2018 6:45 PM
-Light Refreshments at 6:30 PM-

Xcel Energy Presentation to the County Commissioners
Old Boulder County Commissioners
1325 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Tuesday, May 8th 3:00 PM

On Tuesday, May 8th, at 3:00 pm the Boulder County Commissioners will be meeting to hear an update from Xcel Energy about the utility’s plans for the cessation of coal activities at the Valmont Power Station in east Boulder County. 

Of particular concern for Boulder County residents is the fate of the coal ash produced by the Valmont plant and the serious threats that ash poses to water quality and public health in the region. 

This meeting is open to the public but there will not be a public comment period at the meeting. If you want to submit a comment to the Commissioners or a question you would like them to ask Xcel on May 8th, we encourage you to submit your question or comment to the Commissioners before the deadline on April 30th.

Clean Energy Action will be hosting Nancy LaPlaca, a coal ash expert and a veteran of the fight against coal in Colorado, for an informational session to discuss the issues at George Reynolds Library the night before the meeting. For more information on the state of Colorado’s coal ash and the risks it poses to the public, check out Clean Water Fund’s full report  and join us as we confront the legacy of coal-burning in Boulder County!

 

Senator Stephen Fenberg on Local Power vs. Corporate Power

In an interview last month with John Farrell at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, Colorado Senator Stephen Fenberg voiced his opinions on the importance of local power in terms of demanding energy from cleaner sources.  He spoke about the long standing debate of switching to more clean energy sources in an economically feasible manner. He states that technology will allow cheap clean energy, but the barrier that is holding back this transfer from coal power to renewables is orchestrated politically and legally by the utilities.steve His argument is not inherently against investor-owned utilities, it is about the role our utilities play in maintaining and promoting the regulatory barriers that exist today and prevent us from pursuing renewable energy to its fullest extent. Fenberg enforces the idea that  “utilities do have an immense amount of power and authority and financial resources behind them”, which makes it difficult for communities to hold a threat to utilities.

What’s really exciting now though, is that technologies are available and are cheap enough to move us to a clean energy future. At this point it’s about giving communities the opportunity and power to control their energy future. Senator Fenberg describes how “there shouldn’t be these regulatory barriers to keeping individuals, as well as communities, from being able to use these technologies and new opportunities to have more control over their energy future.”

It is now regulation, not technology, that stands between Boulder and its objectives. That is why municipalization is necessary for Boulder to meet its renewable energy goals. The process is not quick or simple, but because of the challenges Fenberg discusses, Boulder needs to take control of its energy future before the City can pursue the many exciting options and technologies that will take Boulder to its renewable energy future.

Check out the full interview here for more information about Senator Fenberg’s thoughts on local power.

Xcel-Denver MOU: Likely to Serve Xcel’s Goals More Than Denver’s Goals

In late February 2018, Xcel and Denver signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or “MOU” that was touted as a way for Denver to work towards its goal of a 100% renewable energy. Clean Energy Action took a close look at the MOU and found that the substance did not match the hype. A summary of that analysis is below and the full analysis is attached.

A key goal of the analysis is to help Denver advocates recognize the limits of the MOU so as to better advocate for a cleaner energy future and for advocates in other communities to begin to better understand what is happening when their City representatives are talking about signing an MOU with Xcel.

Summary of the Analysis of the Xcel-Denver MOU

The Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Denver and Xcel (Public Service Company of Colorado or PSCo) executed in late February 2018 is primarily a document of lofty statement, but is non-binding and contains no commitments from Xcel to reduce the carbon intensity of their electricity and move to a high level of renewable energy. Rather, the MOU could easily serve to distract the City of Denver and its residents from efforts to decarbonize their electricity and even could be used by Xcel to entice the City of Denver into supporting Xcel’s proposals at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that are very likely not what most Denver residents and businesses would support if they understood them.

Find the full analysis here.