Anne B. Butterfield: City should keep door open to muni

Having worked with Sam Weaver on a nonprofit board, I know Sam to be a clear-minded, super-well informed leader on all questions about electricity production, Xcel Energy and municipalization. Council definitely needs his keen abilities and would be hurt if it lost him.

And like Sam I support municipalization for myriad reasons, but above all to keep a powerful and publicly visible form of leverage against this coal-reliant investor-owned utility. Xcel’s shareholders have shown they care about the business risk of relying so much on a dying fuel supply by mounting a challenge to the company (that I helped to launch).

Shareholders should continue to see Xcel’s risk in relying so much on a fuel that is dwindling, dangerously polluting, and prompts a prosperous city to leave the company’s customer base.

When shareholders care, management cares (ratepayer groups have little clout). Boulder’s ratepayers need to include this strategic truth in their understanding of the muni effort: it is one of the best ways to get Xcel to make good on their transparently timed (Aug. 30!) offer to go to 55 percent renewables in nine years. Don’t let this offer distract you any more than the glittery scrollwork on the merry-go-round your kids are to ride.

Whether Boulder decides to municipalize or not, the city should keep the door open to have the decision. Doing so, we possess a hardball strategy against this powerful, profitable, polluting entity that participates in a process of wiping out our children’s future — the way Puerto Rico, Houston, parts of Florida and Napa County have just been wiped out by climate-enhanced storms. This is not time to liquidate our political investment. Vote “Yes” on 2L, 2O and 2P.

This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the Daily Camera.