Category Archives: Municipalization

Time to Unplug Boulder’s Municipalization Effort

Ballot Issues:
2L (Muni Tax): NO
;
2O (Muni vote): YES
(if 2L passes, we still need to have a go/no go vote before issuing bonds;
2P (Muni exec sessions): NO I might have said “yes” to this, if Sam hadn’t added a poison pill – only discussions of taking a muni off ramp, ending the muni, must be held in a public forum. I’m not even sure how that could work, practically speaking.

September 19, 2017: Daily Camera question – Should Boulder continue muni effort? No. The game was/is rigged. Pull the plug. Let’s start saving electrons and stop wasting money. Sad, but true. The path may be “clear,” but I don’t believe we can get there from here any time soon – the condemnation and separation battles could be tied up in the courts for years and all the legislative hoops and hurdles, along with the PUC’s broad discretion, tilt these tables against Boulder. Boulder should re-purpose the money being spent on the muni effort to squeeze every joule of energy out of the electrons and natural gas Xcel sells to us, so we can kick the habit

August 28, 2017: Open Boulder Questionnaire – Municipalization? I am concerned that we will never be able to afford the price we may be required to pay Xcel to purchase their aging, increasingly irrelevant infrastructure. It would help if we had won a few of our lawsuits along the way. The costs to date, coupled with the delays, which seem to stretch well over the horizon, make it increasingly unlikely that buying out Xcel will be fiscally responsible.

In any event, Boulder’s voters must be given an opportunity to vote up or down on municipalization when all the facts are known.
In many ways, my opinion has not changed since we began our effort, but city expenditures have continued and even accelerated with no end in sight.

I’m no fan of the way Xcel has conducted itself during this prolonged struggle, either. There should have been a way to work together to reduce Boulder’s carbon footprint, but Xcel hasn’t offered a reasonable one yet.

I will wait to see what Council decides to put on the ballot before taking positions, but my sense is that Boulder’s citizens are becoming more interest in pulling the plug on this endeavor.

Correction of Daily Camera article, 8/11/2013

Correction of 8/11/2013 City Council Candidate Article

August 11, 2013

In Sunday’s story on the city council race, Erica Metzger wrote, “(Byrne) said he strongly supports the city’s pursuit of a municipal utility.” Well, not exactly. If forced to choose between the City’s proposed charter amendment and the one from muni opponents, I support the City’s because it allows the staff’s analysis to be completed. When all the facts are in, I want Boulder’s citizens to have one last chance to vote on whether to proceed. That day is years and a few off ramps away. Both of these competing ballot issues are premature, but we may have to vote on them anyway. More’s the pity.

Continue reading Correction of Daily Camera article, 8/11/2013

Municipalization Vote-to-Vote Initiative

May 17, 2013

Because you can, does not mean that you should. Today, Xcel fessed up: they’re behind the “vote to vote” initiative. No surprise there. My question: how many electors are willing to sign it? DON’T! After carefully poll-testing the ballot language, we’ll be voting, again, about issues that will still not be fully vetted – the City’s efforts to complete its approved homework assignments are ongoing. The vote comes before the results will all be in.
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Frankenstorm? Meet Climate Change Deniers

November 3, 2012

Tuesday’s Daily Camera cartoon, in which “Frankenstorm” welcomed the candidates to “our presidential debate on science and global warming,” nailed the haunting lack of any mention of climate change during the three other debates. New York’s Governor Cuomo noted with irony that the new normal includes 100-year storms every two years. Nobody’s laughing.
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Need for a Longer Planning Horizon (2012 City Council Retreat)

January 14, 2012

It’s time to dramatically extend our planning horizon to anticipate a future where carbon-based energy resources become so expensive that market-based assumptions are irrevocably altered and to protect ourselves and our beloved community from the negative consequences resulting therefrom. This means more renewable energy sources, better energy storage technologies, more robust year-round agricultural productivity, and strategic primary resource planning.
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Boulder’s Municipalization of Electric Utility Referendum

January 7, 2012

50.4% – 49.6% (13,353 – 13,141): the margin of “victory” in Boulder’s municipalization referendum (occupation tax extension) on November 1st was 2011’s top Boulder story. We’re a progressive and well-educated town, but consensus on the way forward eluded us, even as more violent weather events occur world-wide and rapidly warming polar regions scream out for aggressive climate change-slowing solutions. I’d wager greater than 85% of Boulder’s voters agree on the City’s climate action goals. Our debate is about means and methods, and how to get the most bang for our bucks, sooner than later.
Continue reading Boulder’s Municipalization of Electric Utility Referendum

Municipalization Vote in 2011

January 1, 2012

50.4% – 49.6% (13,353 to 13,141): the margin of “victory” in Boulder’s municipalization referendum (occupation tax extension) on Nov. 1 was 2011’s top Boulder story. We’re a progressive and well-educated town, but consensus on the way forward eluded us, even as more violent weather events occur worldwide and rapidly warming polar regions scream out for aggressive climate change-slowing solutions. I’d wager greater than 85 percent of Boulder’s voters agree on the city’s climate action goals. Our debate is about means and methods, and how to get the most bang for our bucks, sooner than later. Continue reading Municipalization Vote in 2011

Municipilization Election Stand-Off – Carpe Diem

December 31, 2011

50.4% – 49.6% (13,353 – 13,141): the margin of “victory” in Boulder’s municipalization referendum (occupation tax extension) on November 1st was 2011’s top Boulder story. We’re a progressive and well-educated town, but consensus on the way forward eluded us, even as more violent weather events occur world-wide and rapidly warming polar regions scream out for aggressive climate change-slowing solutions. I’d wager greater than 85% of Boulder’s voters agree on the City’s climate action goals. Our debate is about means and methods, and how to get the most bang for our bucks, sooner than later.
Continue reading Municipilization Election Stand-Off – Carpe Diem

2011 Boulder Election Results

2011 Boulder Election Results
November 5, 2011

More than 26,000 people voted, 48% of those receiving ballots. During our last off-year election (2009), only 18,353 (29%) city residents voted. Direct mail worked this time. Give PLAN-Boulder, the Sierra Club, New Era, and Renewables: Yes credit for turning out their supporters, winning a close fight over 2B and 2C, while also electing their preferred city council candidates: Suzanne Jones (ran a near-perfect race for a newcomer), Lisa Morzel (best showing by an incumbent) and Tim Plass.
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Conservation Makes Cents for Xcel

April 30, 2011

Recent polling showing citizen “uncertainty” concerning whether to establish a municipal energy utility and toss Xcel should surprise no one. It’s complicated. Should the City spend hundred(s) of millions of dollars buying Xcel’s pipes and wires? Should we, instead, invest the money rehabilitating structures (commercial and residential) to reduce our consumption of natural gas and electrons? Admittedly, all energy is not created equal. Some, including most “renewables,” are sustainable. Others borrow from the distant past, squandering a diminishing supply of solar energy stored in carbon-based fuels to support profligate lifestyles today.
Continue reading Conservation Makes Cents for Xcel