Eric Johnson: Choose municipalization


Letter to the Editor

We received a letter from Xcel a few weeks back, glowingly describing its activities.  However, a recent Daily Camera article provides a better illustration of Xcel’s priorities.  The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has turned away its proposal to charge customers a “premium on their bills to support solar projects.” (“Commission rejects Xcel bid for solar program”, 12/9/2015)  Staff at the PUC recommended the rejection because it would have an “unfair competitive advantage” over other solar providers.

I believe Xcel sought this unfair advantage to protect its business model from the growing solar industry in Colorado, while increasing its own revenues.  Meanwhile, Xcel still belches enormous quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  In fact, it plans to keep burning coal for decades to come.  Just a month ago it was asking the PUC to approve its plan to spend more than a billion dollars on fossil fuel infrastructure in Colorado, and in April it asked the PUC to cut energy efficiency programs that save ratepayers money.

Make no mistake.  Xcel is not doing what’s best for ratepayers or the climate.  Xcel’s priority is its own bottom line.

I’d much rather municipalize.

Eric Johnson
Boulder