William Truesdell: Xcel is the risky business


Letter to the Editor:

It’s disappointing to read Bob Greenlee trotting out old anti-muni arguments that have already been discredited (” Boulder’s muni a risky business,” Daily Camera, Nov. 22).

Mr. Greenlee suggests that getting into the utility business now is “akin to starting a land line telephone company right when the Internet and cell phones were really starting to get popular.” The analogy about the timing is apt, but Xcel is the one that is like the land line phone company. The muni is like being on the side of the Internet and cell phones.

Xcel is the one stuck in an outdated business model with fossil fuel generating plants that are becoming ever more expensive to run. The municipal utility is the path to free ourselves from the “20th century regulatory mentality” and move rapidly into an era of clean, renewable and free fuel (wind and solar), with resilient microgrids and opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

Further, Mr. Greenlee artificially inflates the expected costs of the muni by including “initial operating and identified future capital costs,” as well as the costs of borrowing money. This is misleading, because the operating and future capital costs will be paid for out of the revenue of the muni, just as is happening right now when Xcel pays its operating and capital costs out of the revenue it collects from Boulder. Xcel also right now uses some of the revenue from us to pay for the money Xcel has borrowed for its own capital investments. 

Since Xcel is stuck in an antiquated business model and is so heavily committed to the fossil fuel that is pushing us toward climate catastrophe, the real “risky business” is sticking with Xcel.

William Truesdell
Boulder

This letter to the editor was originally published by Boulder Daily Camera