Is a 20-year Xcel franchise agreement fair to the citizens of Boulder?
A: NO – If 2C passes:
- Boulder ratepayers will have no control over decisions about Xcel’s energy mix, rates, equitable treatment of communities, and which, if any, renewable energy or resilience projects are pursued. Xcel has veto power over any project proposed by Boulder.
- Boulder’s community goals — 3Rs (renewables, rates, reliability) and 3Ds (decarbonize, democratize, decentralize) will not be achieved — they are just items on a wish list to be discussed, but these are not Xcel’s goals and Xcel has made no commitment to achieve Boulder’s goals.
- Xcel will have no obligation to help Boulder reach its 100% renewable electricity goal or its goal of 100MW of locally-generated power.
- It’s a blank check; the cost for 100% renewable electricity is not specified; Xcel has not committed to fund any Boulder partnership project.
- Other publicly owned utilities have struck deals with willing electricity suppliers including various forms of beneficial financing for the privilege of providing them with electricity service, including Las Cruces, New Mexico, Fountain, Colorado, and Delta-Montrose Rural Electric Cooperative. Boulder is being offered nothing in the way of compensation.
- The results of numerous elections will be ignored: Boulder citizens have voted to authorize the city to determine costs of purchasing a local power utility so citizens could make an informed Go/NoGo decision at the ballot box. If Boulder signs a franchise agreement at this time, it is agreeing to stop its local power effort without knowing all of the costs and options, and without an opportunity for a Go/NoGo vote.
- Xcel’s sales are essentially flat, but profits rise year after year with rate increases planned and no relief in sight for ratepayers, and Xcel Energy Colorado does not put any of its corporate profits (averaging $378M annually since 2009) back into energy assistance programs in Colorado.
- Poorer communities will continue to suffer from rate increases, lack of access to renewables, and health effects resulting from fossil fuel-burning power plants’ emissions located close to their neighborhoods until these plants stop operating in 2041 and 2070.
- Boulder will be complicit in contributing to Colorado-produced emissions to global greenhouse gas effects which compound world-wide impacts, again, most seriously on poorer communities.