Cathy Conery: Council candidates should support muniPublished on: Monday, August 28, 2017
Election season is upon us. It is critically important that voters know unequivocally the policy positions of candidates on the major issues that confront us.
The imperative issue we face, because it is an existential one, is climate change. We actually can make an effective impact against it most significantly through the municipalization of our electricity generation. It is especially critical for millennials and future generations, because tomorrow they will bear the burdens visited upon them by the indecision or ill-advised decisions made by our leaders today.
Though human costs are the priority concern, and we all are now experiencing them directly and regularly, municipalizing has a very compelling financial component.
While Xcel’s rates continually increase, costs for wind and solar are decreasing faster than previously imagined. Boulder’s Financial Forecast Tool (published Nov. 7, 2016) shows that a local electric utility will be cost effective. Even with conservative estimates, a city-operated utility can meet each of the City Charter’s financial stipulations (previously approved by voters even though Xcel outspent grass-roots citizens’ groups by 10-to-1). But, perhaps most compelling from a financial perspective, Xcel extracts over $20 million in after-tax profits each year from Boulder citizens, which is a drain on our economy and is money better spent on increasing renewables and reliability.
By persisting in our efforts, Boulder citizens can give to themselves, future generations and people everywhere what is almost within our grasp — a locally-owned electric utility. Voters should demand of City Council candidates that they unconditionally respect the voters’ will from four prior elections and that the candidates will not only support continuation of the municipalization process, but will actively lead the way forward into a clean energy future.
This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the Daily Camera.