Nick Kerwin: A Big Victory for the Muni


The PUC decision of April 19 was a big victory for Boulder municipalization, not a setback as the Camera story asserted.

The critical action by the PUC was that the commissioners unanimously ruled against both Xcel’s and IBM’s motions to dismiss the case, which was the subject of the PUC’s hearing. Had they gone the other way, this whole thing would have had to be restarted from scratch.

The PUC only revised the hearing date, originally scheduled for later in April, until the summer to allow the parties to consolidate information from various rulings and filings so that the commissioners could do a better job in making final decisions. This seems like a responsible action, given the many rulings by both this and the previous commission. Remember that two of the commissioners only got on board in January, and so weren’t part of some of the previous rulings.

The commissioners also admonished Xcel for their time-consuming and costly delay tactics, and openly commented on Boulder’s constitutional right to municipalize. And they recognized that Boulder wants to put some items on the ballot this November, and so set the hearing dates early enough to give the city time to complete that process.

Most interestingly, the commissioners acknowledged the Boulder citizens for their commitment to creating a clean energy municipal utility and seemed to be getting behind the need to fulfill their role in allowing this right to have real meaning. And the chairman even stated that he had watched the Monday night council meeting.

I think that the PUC’s actions show real civic responsibility and I’d like to thank the commissioners for taking their responsibilities so seriously, and for facilitating the process.

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