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View Diary: HELP!! Coal based utility mangling democracy in Boulder Colorado (10 comments)

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  •  Is there a municipal electric utility already (5+ / 0-)

    operating in Boulder that buys electricity from Xcel, or does
    Xcel market electricity directly to the Boulder area and this proposal is intended to set up a municipal electric utility in the area?  ....or is this an issue about Boulder renewing some long term franchise with Xcel to serve the area vs. establishing a new municipal electric utlity?

    •  Is there a municipal electric utility already (6+ / 0-)

      Lake - Boulder is part of Xcel's service area and is obliged to use its service for both electricity and gas.  The proposal is to set up a new utility called Boulder Power and Light (I think that's the name in the making),  Boulder voted to let the franchise agreement with Xcel lapse and to replace the "franchise fee" with a simple "occupation tax" that restores level funding to city coffers while the relationship find new ground.

      •  If Boulder's franchise agreement with Xcel is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leftcandid, RunawayRose

        lapsed, does that not mean that residents of Boulder
        are no longer obligated as a matter of contract signed by
        Boulder to use Xcel's service?

        •  lapsed, doesnt that mean no longer obliged? (4+ / 0-)

          Lake - Yes and no to that.
          We have to have electricity, and Xcel has to give it, due to the CPCN - certificate of public convenience and necessity. So in that sense yes we are obliged to use Xcel's service because we have no other choice [monopoly!!].  But I don't think it's as a "matter of a contract" as you suggest since the franchise has expired. We are free to seek our future but we cannot contract for power independently until we are a utility.  Colorado has not passed any law that allows for "community choice aggregation" such as one sees in CA and OH. CCA allows communities to buy power according to their wishes w/o having bought their own distribution system. Since we don't have that legal option in CO - and many activists have determined that our legislature won't pass CCA in light of CO's powerful utility lobbies - then we in Boulder have determined that as hard as municipalization is, it's our best shot with also huge upside potential for innovation cause if we prevail we get to do things with the actual distribution system.

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