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Boulder CO has had 3 elections to get loose from its coal-based utility and create its own system for rapid emissions reductions, low rates and high reliability.  As we proceed and prevail, this model of action will change the way investor owned utilities do business because this action is replicable far and wide.  And right now Xcel is pouring money into our town with a misleading ballot initiative to flop over our election of 2 years ago.  

Both our clean energy aims and our democracy are being molested by a hugely profitable corporate monopoly, so we need FUNDS to fight well for this November's election.  
If you care to support and repost this funding drive, it would be critically helpful.

Above is Upworthy's boost for New Era Colorado - a youth focused voter registration and education group whose canvassing won the 2011 election.  The video is amazing and will tell you all. The drive has gone viral, but we have 10 days more to go and WANT THE DAILY KOS' HELP!

Fortunately the public clearly resonates with our cause - with 4600+ donors so far, so I hope you'll help us to reach even more in the last several days of this drive so we'll be as strong as possible for what's ahead.

USEFUL TO REMEMBER: Colorado is under the microscope by those looking at climate change action - and by fossil fuel interests.   Yale's Project of Climate Change Communication choose to do a survey on our state because, according to Leiserowitz of the project (as reported by the Boulder Daily Camera), Colorado was a 'bellwether' state for its 'purple' po­litical balance, diverse regional geog­raphy, transitioning demographics and because 'it is experiencing the local effects of climate change in a severe way.' 'We found that Coloradans are se­riously observing drought, wildfires and declines in snowpack,' he said, explaining the state's 70 percent consensus on climate change. 'They are connecting the dots between a global phenomenon and its local effects.'

Needless to say our recently passed Senate Bill 252 (to increase the renewable energy mandate in our rural areas - a measure sure to bring more jobs into those areas) was pelted with all manner of false, nefarious advertising by the Koch Brothers to prevent the Governor from signing this clean energy measure.

So you can just guess what the utilities around the nation may bring to our city to prevent Boulder from prevailing in this vote to protect our legal options to buy back our electric supply for the sake or rapid emissions reduction, good rates and reliability.  I know utilities are nervously watching this, because utility exec's ask me about this at conferences.  Please support and SHARE the story about New Era's crowdfunding!

Truthout's reporting on this is easily the best, and its longitudinal
And it's not just local ares of the US looking to municipalize for clean energy - check out these cities in Germany, such as BERLIN
Huffington Post's take on the crowdfunding drive
And the Yale survey of Colorado
See the report in the Daily Camera on Yale's survey

Originally posted to AnneBB on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and Climate Hawks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's some background: (8+ / 0-)

    Municipalization advocates: Xcel profit margins show Boulder 'headroom':

    Boulder-run utility could absorb higher operating, acquisition costs because no need to make profit, group says

    The profit that Xcel Energy gets from Boulder provides "headroom" for a municipal utility to offer similar or lower rates than Xcel, even if acquisition or fuel costs are higher than expected, a pro-municipalization group said in a position paper released Monday.

    Members of Empower Our Future, a group that advocates for a city electric utility, used documents Xcel Energy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other public documents to calculate Xcel's profits in Colorado and in Boulder from 2003 -- after the company purchased Public Service Co. of Colorado -- through 2012.

    During that time period, they said, Xcel's Colorado profits went from $316 million to $691 million. They estimate that Boulder provides $35 million a year in pre-tax profits for Xcel Energy just from electricity.

    In an interview, Empower Our Future member Sam Weaver said it's simply not true, as opponents have charged, that "everything needs to go right" for a city electric utility to offer rates comparable to those charged by Xcel.

    "Those are revenues that are currently being paid to go into Xcel's profits that would be an expense that the (municipal) utility and the ratepayers wouldn't have going forward," he said. "So if fuel prices are a little higher or wind prices are a little higher going forward, there's room there. Xcel likes to talk about how they can do everything in bulk and cheaper, but that 20 cents on the dollar that is going to profit isn't doing anything to make electricity."

    Link to Measure 310:
    Ballot Question 310 (Ordinance No. 7919)

    Shall Article XIII of the Charter of the City of Boulder be amended by the addition of a new section 188 “Limitations on Debt,” that provides (a) before the electric utility enterprise issues any debt, voters must approve the amount of the utility’s debt limit and the total cost of debt repayment that the utility will incur, both to be stated in dollars in any ballot question; and (b) the utility’s service area shall not extend to areas outside the city limits unless registered electors in those areas are permitted to vote in these debt limit and repayment cost elections; and (c) such elections shall be held on the dates of general municipal elections; and (d)  any brokerage fees for managing any sale of bonds or other indebtedness shall be limited to one percent of proceeds?

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 01:09:34 PM PDT

  •  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.

  •  Great first diary. Hope to see many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid, RunawayRose


    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 04:23:06 PM PDT

  •  Republished to Colorado COmmunity. AnneBB, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    please let us know how we can get involved on the ground, if we don't have money to contribute.  Who's the best contact for voter education & GOTV?

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 06:00:34 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Climate Hawks n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    C'est la vie, c'est la guerre, c'est la pomme de terre.

    by RunawayRose on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 11:06:37 AM PDT

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