Lili Francklyn: Not So Fast, XcelPublished on: Friday, April 7, 2017
The fact that Xcel has suddenly come forward with a “best and final” settlement proposal regarding Boulder’s energy future and muni a mere three weeks before a deadline to notify the Colorado Public Utilities Commission of any settlement, is nothing but a resounding declaration of disrespect.
Given the complexity of the discussion about whether the city of Boulder should create its own municipal utility — all the legal, technical and economic planning that requires, and the reasons for doing such a thing in the first place — such a maneuver may be nothing but standard operating procedure for a large corporate bully and its well-heeled lawyers. But, giving us all a mere few weeks to deconstruct the proposed settlement and take the next step is nothing short of a Bronx cheer for the deliberate way we have analyzed the possibility so far. Boulder has spent the past six years working through an elaborate process in order to approach this crucial decision carefully and responsibly.
In 2011 we were all focused on a similar decision point. At that time, the municipal utility was only an inkling of an idea, but it seemed headed for a ballot measure that fall. Suddenly, there was Xcel at the last possible minute, flapping an appealing wind farm proposal in front of everyone, and demanding an immediate decision. It turned out that the wind farm would have been a risky deal for Boulder, and we moved on.
Once again, Xcel is trying to head us off at the pass, insisting that the settlement decision is so urgent that we must all act immediately. We should say “no” firmly but politely, and continue on to craft the energy future that will bring us unprecedented economic opportunities and a sustainable future.
This Letter to the Editor originally appeared in the Daily Camera.