Karen Conduff: Two hot topicsPublished on: Friday, August 11, 2017
With front page coverage of the PUC trial all last week and many letters to the editor on the subject, municipalization is currently a hot topic in the Camera. What else is hot? Our planet. 2017 is on track to becoming the second hottest year on record (second only to last year).
One letter writer ( Steve Haymes, Aug. 4) claims that the city is low-balling the “true” cost of a muni. I wonder if he would care to estimate the true cost of another 2013-style flood (which was exacerbated by climate change). Wild fires raging across the West are exacerbated by climate change too, and we all know Boulder is vulnerable.
Do the residents of the city realize that Xcel takes more money out of Boulder in profits each year than Boulder has spent on the entire municipalization bid? If we stop exporting these dollars we can use them to innovate and create the grid of the future, achieving Boulder’s goals of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Will Boulder single-handedly be able to solve the climate crisis by forming a muni? Of course not, but we could become a template for other cities across the state and the nation to take control of our own destiny. When investor-owned utilities like Xcel refuse to act in a manner consistent with solving the climate crisis, it is time to think outside the box. After all, they answer only to their investors, not their customers.
Xcel likes to claim that they are “industry-leading” in their use of renewable energy. That’s a scary thought since over 70 percent of the electricity Xcel generates in Colorado still comes from fossil fuels. It is pretty clear that choosing to leave the future in the hands of monopolies like Xcel could make us all eligible for a Darwin Award.
This Letter to the Editor was originally published in the Daily Camera.