Chris Hoffman: Yes, Climate must be a City Council priority

Published in the Boulder Daily Camera, January 29, 2022
Link to the original article

Kudos to the Daily Camera for their Jan. 23 editorial urging Boulder City Council to put climate change at the top of their agenda: “Nature never closes: Marshall Fire should propel climate change to top of agenda for 2022”

As Ms. Marshall wrote on behalf of the board, “climate change is not just a global phenomenon to plan for long term, it’s a catastrophe likely to happen today, tomorrow or next week and in our own backyard.”

Council could start by, at a minimum, asking staff to review their decision to enter into a “settlement” with Xcel regarding their proposed Electric Resource Plan that is before the Public Utilities Commission.  This is the “settlement” that the Sierra Club called “a corporate giveaway that is bad for our climate and unfair to Xcel customers. It allows Xcel to continue its dependence on dirty, expensive fossil fuels, and further delay the transition to affordable clean energy.”

Council could go further by having the city quantify the environmental impact of every city action/plan/decision in terms of metric tons of CO2e, and value the negative community impact at the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC – currently $51/ metric ton, but likely to be updated soon). By doing so the city could also advance our commitment to social equity, because the SCC falls most heavily on those least able to pay.
Mayor Aaron Brockett has spoken forcefully about the need for strong climate action at the federal level. It would be inspiring to see that urgency applied in our own city.

Chris Hoffman