Empower Boulder: Leave Xcel franchise and form a muni

Thanks to the American Public Power Association for these graphics.

n Thursday, August 20, the Boulder City Council voted to put a new Xcel franchise agreement on the November 2020 ballot.

That agreement actually consists of multiple parts including:

  1. A new 20-year franchise agreement with unenforceable interim “off-ramps” will commit the city to a new 20-year relationship that could be difficult to end.
  2. A ‘settlement’ that would force Boulder to abandon a 10-year effort to explore a local power utility, dismiss all current court proceedings and prevent Boulder’s pursuit of competitive options with higher percentages of cost-saving renewables
  3. An “agreement” regarding future renewable energy projects, each of which would have to be negotiated separately with Xcel and approved by the PUC

These last-minute agreements have not been adequately vetted or communicated to the public. The City of Boulder has not had time to analyze what the agreements will cost Boulder ratepayers.

Xcel does not share Boulder’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030. Xcel’s fossil-heavy energy mix will be Boulder’s energy mix. We will be responsible for our share of Xcel’s expenses and debt.

In effect, a new franchise agreement leaves Boulder empty-handed, without the ability to move ahead with its own clean power, or – if the franchise agreement is not approved by the PUC – without any leverage with Xcel whatsoever.
Learn more about reasons to Vote NO on 2C (a new franchise agreement with Xcel).

Read EOF’s initial response to the City’s negotiations with Xcel and our Decision Assistance Letter in which we offered questions to weigh when considering putting the Xcel franchise agreement on the November ballot.

See the Boulder/Xcel Settlement Agreement here.

Endorse No on 2C  |  Donate to No on 2C  | Volunteer with EOF to defeat 2C

“Do not be green washed by what some are calling the green new deal. It is anything but green (Xcel is at 70% fossil fuels) and will put Boulder in shackles in terms of achieving its path forward toward a clean energy future. Stay the course for a municipally owned electric utility with 100% renewable energy. Invest in our future! Vote no on 2C!”

Lisa Morzel, Boulder City Council Deputy Mayor 2013-2014, Mayor Pro Tem 2014-2015

Vote No on 2C to Keep Our Options Open

This is not an either/or situation

We do not have to choose to municipalize or sign a franchise agreement with Xcel. We’ve been out of franchise with Xcel for nearly a decade. By staying out of franchise, at a minimum, Boulder would be free to pivot as new technology and new legislation on the horizon arises. Staying out of franchise allows us to find out the costs associated with public power. If we choose to pursue public power, alternative financing to complete such projects exists. And, if we decide to say no to a franchise, there is likely to be an even better option next year — courtesy of Xcel. Muni or not, let’s not give up our leverage with Xcel!

Renewable Energy developers can supply energy to Boulder more cheaply than Xcel

The City’s 2018 Request for Indicative Pricing (RFIP) showed that Boulder could save $40 million per year on energy costs at 89% renewable power by purchasing from vendors other than Xcel. And, even at higher costs, Xcel would be providing only 53% renewables.

(https://www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/RFIP_One-pager-1-201902061233.pdf) We think this standard – 89% renewables at a cost of 2/3 of Xcel’s wholesale price – should be the one Xcel should meet or beat.

Note, the City’s June 17, 2020 renewable energy RFP submissions are being reviewed and could uncover an even better deal.

See industry news about the success other cities have had:

City of Fountain strikes electricity deal through 2039 to lower costs

Las Cruces got $20 Million, why aren’t we?

Guzman Energy has agreed to cover the cost of a $62.5 million exit fee that Delta-Montrose Electric Association is being charged by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association to end its supply contract with Tri-State.


Boulder Municipalization: A History

Boulder’s electric utility municipalization effort to pursue cleaner energy generation sources for the purpose of reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions did not spring up overnight. Driven by sustained and ever-expanding citizen involvement and leadership, and rapidly accelerating climate change, Boulder’s municipalization effort is the culmination of several decades of consideration, research, outreach and educational efforts to build support among elected city  leadership and Boulder voters, numerous hard-fought elections, and exceptional city staff work, in the increasingly climate change-sensitive state of Colorado.

2019 Responding to the city’s 2018 Request For Indicative Pricing (RFIP), major energy suppliers have offered proposals that could supply Boulder in 2024 with 89% renewable electricity at a cost lower than Xcel’s by about $40 million per year. And Xcel would be providing only 53% renewables, not 89%. Energy suppliers responding to the RFIP included: Guzman Energy, Invenergy, Convergent Energy & Power, and Capital Dynamics, among others. For details, see www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/RFIP_One-pager-1-201902061233.pdf

2017  On September 14, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission delivered a ruling that gives Boulder a clear path forward for the municipal electric plan. The PUC said final approval of the assets to be transferred would be conditioned on (1) the filing of an agreement between Boulder and Xcel providing permanent rights for Xcel to place and access facilities in Boulder it needs to continue to serve its customers; (2) the filing of a revised list of assets that is accurate and complete; and (3) the filing of an agreement that addresses payment from Boulder to Xcel for costs incurred by Xcel during separation. The PUC requested those filings within 90 days.
The city of Boulder is conducting a thorough analysis of the financial and timing implications of the ruling; however, on initial evaluation, the city says that it does not appear that the ruling significantly alters either the timeline or the overall cost of municipalization. This is a positive outcome for the city. The PUC’s decision also benefits Boulder by removing the necessity of additional PUC hearings before we go to condemnation.  Learn more about the ruling

On May 12, the City of Boulder filed its Third Supplemental Verified Application at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The application would allow Boulder to separate its electrical system from Xcel and proceed with forming its own electric utility that could be free to accelerate our adoption of renewable energy.

On April 19 at its hearing the Public Utilities Commission asked to the city to file an amended application in order to facilitate intelligent evaluation of the application through the use of one document, instead of having to flip back and forth between various pieces of testimony. Chairman Ackermann had watched the whole Boulder City Council meeting on April 17. He called it “democracy in action.” Commissioner Koncilja also emphasized democracy when she said that the commission’s job was “to expedite what Boulder’s citizens want.” She also expressed gratitude to Boulder and the Energy Future staff for making changes in Boulder’s proposed acquisition process to accommodate the concerns of the commission and other parties.

April 17. After hearing testimony from over 90 citizens and a huge outpouring of support from citizens – in letters, in a rally, and in the public testimony – the City Council voted 6-3 against moving forward with any settlement with Xcel Energy, and in favor of continuing the municipalization exploration process.

On March 31, Boulder announced it had received a pair of “best and final” “settlement” proposals from Xcel Energy following more than a year of negotiations with the utility.
(1) A “partnership” similar to any standard 20-year franchise in which practically everything would have to go through review by the Public Utilities Commission, and so could easily be stopped, and with renewable energy programs offered that were either already available or overpriced. Xcel’s “partnership” offer would have obligated future generations to pay Xcel a premium for clean energy even though, at the time of this proposal, wind energy was cheaper than Xcel’s cost of coal-generated electricity and solar was getting cheaper every year. The offer also made no commitments to the attainment of Boulder’s goals.
(2) A “buyout” in which Boulder would pay 80 percent more than what Xcel still had in its Boulder facilities. This would be almost $100 million more than Xcel would ever get if Boulder remained a captive customer. Xcel also wanted 25 percent of its then current revenues from Boulder to continue for 10 years after Boulder took over. By 2023, this would start at almost $40 million a year, and would be for doing nothing, since Boulder would be running its own system.

On Feb. 2, the University of Colorado Boulder and the City of Boulder finalized an electric service agreement should the city begin operation of a municipal electric utility.

2016  On November 7, the city released its Financial Forecast Tool and analysis, confirming that local electric utility would be cost effective and could quickly incorporate clean energy.

As of October – a recap of trying to work with Xcel: (http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_30446663/macon-cowles-settle-xcel-not-so-fast):
Over the last five years, the city had asked Xcel in writing to partner with it in many ways, including:

  1. Create a flexible and responsive Boulder utility that is a subsidiary of Xcel, but one that could respond to innovation, and permit energy entrepreneurs and startups to offer products to Boulder customers;
  2. Enhance the “SmartGridCity” that Xcel started, then abandoned, in 2010;
  3. Remove the cap on wind generated at the NREL Wind Technology Center south of Boulder;
  4. Bundle the buying power of Boulder customers to obtain renewable energy without the 20 percent premium that Xcel now charges for Windsource;
  5. Expand energy efficiency and other demand-side management programs;
  6. Expand the opportunities for distributed generation;
  7. Form an energy services incubator, to drive innovation;
  8. Form an energy efficiency/distributed energy utility, with on-bill financing.

To date, Xcel had rejected all of these.

On June 8, the city of Boulder and Xcel announced that they were discussing a possible settlement to litigation regarding a city-owned electric utility. Mayor Suzanne Jones explained: “This kind of dual path is common in litigation and represents the city’s good-faith efforts to explore all options — as we promised we would do….The municipalization project, specifically, has given us important insights into how our electric system operates and helped us identify the infrastructure improvements required for the solar, storage and resilience technologies we envision for our future. No matter which path we take, this work will help us make that vision a reality.”

2015  On December 30 the Public Utilities Commission denied Xcel’s request to dismiss the city’s application in its entirety and granted the city’s request to get discovery and file a more detailed supplemental application that did not include assets used exclusively to serve out-of-city Xcel customers. As of this date the city hoped to receive from Xcel the information necessary to file a detailed supplemental application in early 2016. Boulder gaining the right to discovery was important, because Xcel had failed to provide engineering information to the city about the very equipment that is needed to serve Boulder customers both inside and outside of the city limits. http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_29335346/macon-cowles-puc-ends-stalemate-between-xcel-and

2014  Ballot Measure 2B was passed by voters, allowing city council to hold private executive sessions to discuss legal advice for creation of a local electric utility.

In July 2014, the city filed a condemnation petition in Boulder District Court seeking to acquire portions of the electric system owned by Xcel Energy. These portions of the system are necessary to create a local electric utility that would serve customers within city limits. Under the Colorado Constitution, cities have the authority to condemn real and personal property inside and outside city limits in order to provide public power to residents and businesses. Property owners have the right to due process and just compensation for the taking of their property. In cases where the parties do not reach a negotiated settlement, a city may file a condemnation case in court.

Boulder has reached out to Xcel energy at least 50 times in public meetings.

In April 2014, Boulder City Council passed an ordinance creating a local electric utility. Although the city has not yet made a final decision about whether to municipalize, if the city does decide to proceed and issue bonds, it will need to have an entity established that can do so. In June 2014, Xcel filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging that City Council’s formation of a utility was “premature” and that Boulder failed to meet requirements laid out in the City Charter. The city is contesting this in court.

On December 18, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling that defines the role it will play in the city’s efforts to acquire a 115KV transmission loop from Xcel Energy as a part of the creation of a local electric utility. In the ruling, FERC said that it must evaluate whether a transfer of the assets from Xcel to Boulder is in the public interest and this review must occur before any actual transfer of assets. The regulators disagreed, however, with the position taken by state regulators and Xcel Energy that the city cannot proceed with condemnation case until that time.

2013 In the Fall of 2013, the PUC issued two rulings that might negatively impact the city’s ability to acquire Xcel’s assets. The city contested those rulings in order to protect several constitutional authorities that belong to local governments. On Jan. 14, 2015, Boulder District Court Judge Judith LaBuda affirmed a Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruling that would require the city to seek permission from the PUC before exercising its constitutional right to acquire portions of the electric system currently owned by Xcel Energy.

2013 In light of Xcel’s renewed “promise” to bring forward electric utility options that would meet Boulder’s energy climate goals by June 2014, City Council voted to proceed along a dual path: continue municipalization exploration and keep the doors open, should Xcel offer a replicable, concrete, verifiable and legally implementable clean energy plan that would meet community goals and not be encumbered by Colorado Public Utilities Commission restrictions. Xcel stated that it would present a proposal to the City of Boulder in mid-2014.

2013 Once again, a greatly expanded citizen coalition, under the new banner of Empower Our Future.org, including former partners and new supporters such as the national Sierra Club “Beyond Coal Campaign”, organized to defeat the Xcel-linked Ballot Initiative 310 effort to block municipalizaton. Community opposition grew from concern about spending by Xcel and its proxies to stop the 2011 voter-approved municipalization and the attempt by a large corporation to rewrite the city Charter.

Boulder voters issued a resounding rejection of 310, turning down the Xcel-backed measure with over 68% of the vote in the November 2013 election. In addition to traditional voter education and outreach, New Era Colorado used innovative social medial and digital tools. New Era Colorado continued its vigorous voter registration campaign and recorded over 100,000 voter contacts in the months before the election, mostly by volunteers. New Era’s Indiegogo video went viral and was seen more than one million times world-wide. “No on 310” groups were outspent 3 to 1 by IOU supporters; however, citizens voted the measure down 2 to 1.

2012 Xcel declined the partnership offer, but continued to participate in the Xcel-City of Boulder Working Group.

2011-2013 Working with industry consultants and nearly 200 volunteer citizens and industry experts who self-organized by expertise into Working Groups, the City of Boulder “Energy Future” (BEF) staff modeled and vetted options to meet city clean energy goals, incorporating quantitative and qualitative risk and opportunity analysis into models and stress-testing to identify issues that could impact the city’s ability to meet city Charter requirements.

Rigorous City of Boulder modeling confirmed earlier citizen modeling conclusions regarding the strong probability that 2B/2C city Charter requirements could be achieved as well as an increased Debt Service Coverage Ratio of 1.65. As required, city models were then vetted by an Independent Third Party Reviewer (Power Service Inc, Raleigh NC) for (i) completeness of data, assumptions and analysis, as well as (ii) an assessment of whether the city could form an electric utility while meeting the conditions set by voters. The Third Party analysis was very favorable. Model results and the Power Services Inc. review are available at the City of Boulder, Energy Future website: https://bouldercolorado.gov/energy-future

Simultaneously Boulder continued to explore potential partnership or other working relationship with Xcel Energy

2012 Boulder’s Climate Action Plan “Carbon Tax” was re-approved at the ballot box, with 82% voters in favor.

2011 Boulder voters approved ballot measures 2B/2C which authorized City Council to (i) provide $1.9 million annually to fund exploration of a municipal electric utility, and (ii) authorize City Council to approve municipal purchase of the local electric utility ─ if it could meet strict city Charter electric utility municipalization criteria (e.g.i.e. reliability and rates equal or better than Xcel, 1.25 Debt Service Coverage Ratio, carbon reduction and a path to increased renewable energy).

RenewablesYes.org was joined by campaign partners New Era Colorado, the local Sierra Club chapter, Boulder Clean Energy Business Coalition, Ecocycle ─ the local public-private recycle and resource partnership, non-profit organizations, individuals and local businesses. Again, Boulder citizens voted to continue to explore municipalization. “Yes on 2B/2C” groups were outspent 10 to 1 by Xcel Energy and other IOU-connected groups.

2011 Responding to citizen frustration with lack of Climate Change leadership at national and state levels, and motivated by desire for local action to move away from Xcel’s long-term commitments to coal, the most carbon intensive form of electric generation, the Boulder City Council proposed ballot measures 2B/2C to explore lower-carbon energy generation options that could be replicated by other communities.

Coal-based energy generation actions at the State level:

— 2004 Xcel proposed a new 750 MW coal plant in Pueblo ─ Comanche 3, with Xcel owning 2/3 or 500 MW of the plant

— 2005 PUC approved Comanche 3, the last large coal plant constructed in the western US

— 2010 Comanche 3 went on line extending Xcel’s coal commitment for 60 years ─ until 2069

─ despite strong opposition and court challenges led by citizens from Boulder and Denver

—2010 Xcel negotiated an agreement to spend $250 million on pollution controls to keep the 500 MW Pawnee coal plant operating until 2041 and $90 million on the Hayden coal plants to keep them operating into the 2030s

2011 A volunteer technical team, made up of concerned citizens who called themselves “RenewablesYES” and local technical experts, used the modeling tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab known as HOMER as well as group member-created software modeling tools, and demonstrated the strong likelihood that Boulder could double its renewable energy (to 40-50% or more), halve its carbon intensity and greatly reduce other forms of fossil fuel-related pollution at rates that would meet or beat Xcel’s. (The team model is available for free for communities to use on EnergyShouldBe.org – Delve tab, as well as on RenewablesYES.org and EmpowerOurFuture.org websites.)

2005-2011 Independent of city efforts, a local Boulder non-profit, Clean Energy Action.org, with a mission of decarbonizing Colorado’s energy supply, hosted monthly public education speaker events featuring local and nationally-recognized experts on Climate Change, clean energy and carbon reduction technologies, as well as innovative and diverse community local self- determination frameworks, providing Boulder elected leaders and the public with inspiring models and opportunities for exchange of ideas regarding possible paths to achieving a community clean energy model.

2010 Ballot Measure 2B passed at the ballot box through campaign efforts by RenewablesYES.org, a committed group of BCAN and other concerned citizens who organized on a shoestring budget to engage and educate voters.

2010 Boulder City Council created ballot measure 2B, a legal device to replace the Franchise Fee with a 5-year Occupation Tax to be collected by the IOU, in order to maintain the city budget.

2010 Boulder City Council decided NOT to renew the Xcel Franchise Agreement. Their considerations included:

— Strong citizen support

— Recognition of increased immediacy of the climate change crisis

— Probability of not meeting Boulder’s Kyoto Protocol commitment

— Failed negotiations with Xcel Energy to meet Boulder’s climate goals

— Many frustrating years intervening at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) where rulings typically favored the IOU over Boulder rate payers

2008 Given Boulder city staff’s concerns about municipalization as they understood the process at that time, as well as state level political dynamics, Boulder’s City Council shelved consideration of municipalization, and instead agreed to support Xcel’s proposed Smart Grid City pilot project. Due to poor project management, out-of-date design, huge cost -over- runs, and technical problems, the SmartGridCity™ project never produced any significant benefit to the Boulder community.

2007 BCAN (Boulder Climate Action Network), formed from a subset of Municipal Working Group members, piloted a community working group process to provide City Council with a set of recommendations for revitalizing the city ’s Climate Action Plan, which included reconsidering the municipalization option.

2006 Boulder voters approved the Climate Action Plan Tax (CAP Tax), the nation’s first “carbon tax.” The funds were to be used to reduce energy use and GHG emissions. The city also reconvened the BREEE as the Municipal Working Group to review the RW Beck Study. This resulted in the city exploring many innovative ideas to help the community reduce energy use and GHG emissions.

2005 City of Boulder contracted with RW Beck to complete the “Preliminary Municipalization Feasibility Study” to investigate the logistics, costs, and benefits of creating and operating a municipally-owned electric utility.

2004 Colorado’s Amendment 37 established the nation’s first voter-approved renewable energy requirement with strong support and leadership from Boulder, resulting in a gradually-increasing renewable energy standard that would apply to large-scale energy producers including Xcel Energy, which had acquired PSCo and which put up strong opposition to the amendment.

2003-04 Boulder Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (BREEE) Working Group developed and presented a Climate Action Plan to City Council. This first GHG Emissions Assessment outlined an emissions-reductions path, including municipalizing the electric utility and adoption of the recommendation to establish the City of Boulder Office of Sustainability.

2002 Inspired by BREEE’s first community-wide, climate education effort, “Boulder City Council passed Resolution 906, committing the community to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to the target established by the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement adopted in 1997 to combat global Climate Change.” https://bouldercolorado.gov/climate

2002 Boulder Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (BREEE ) Working Group formed as a result of a Community Energy and Climate Workshop held in connection with Boulder’s Annual Conference on World Affairs. BREEE was comprised of a loosely-connected group of citizens dedicated to doing more to respond to Climate Change and ramping-up city GHG reduction efforts.

1990 At the time of the 20-year Franchise Agreement (FA) renewal between Boulder and its investor-owned, regulated monopoly utility (IOU), Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo), Boulder City Council and citizen leaders began to discuss municipalizing the city’s electric utility; however, the FA was renewed in 1993.

1987 Boulder City Council adopted its first Raw Water Master Plan with the intent of protecting and enhancing Boulder’s water supply given the expected impacts of global warming on the Colorado River basin. This was Boulder’s first attempt to mitigate the effects of Climate Change.

1982 Boulder adopted the Solar Access Ordinance to protect homeowners and apartment building’s access to solar energy by preventing neighboring properties from blocking the sun. This was Boulder’s first significant effort to directly address energy-related Climate Change issues.



Views, Letters to the Editor and Opinions on Renewable Energy, Coal and Boulder Muni Efforts.

Boulder Mayor Weaver: Pueblo should form own utility

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This was originally published in May 2020. We include it here in light of its relevance to the city of Boulder’s 2020 election. By Steve Henson As the mayor of Boulder,… Read more

Steve Whitaker: Xcel franchise agreement—Negotiate from position of strength

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Podcast: The Invisible Power Struggle with Leah Stokes

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Published on: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

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The Importance of Eco Friendly Cars

Published on: Saturday, September 12, 2020

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David Takahashi: Xcel Energy, the writing is on the wall

Published on: Thursday, September 10, 2020

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John Russell: Xcel Energy: Just in it for the money

Published on: Monday, September 7, 2020

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KK DuVivier: Letter to Council

Published on: Monday, August 31, 2020

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Paul Culnan: Coming to Terms with 8410

Published on: Sunday, August 30, 2020

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Kerwin: Don’t Let A Good Crisis Go to Waste

Published on: Thursday, August 20, 2020

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Morehouse: Let’s determine real costs and then vote

Published on: Thursday, August 20, 2020

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Hoffman: Testimony to Council 8.18.20

Published on: Thursday, August 20, 2020

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Laursen: Municipalization: Renewables are right around corner

Published on: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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Bach: Municipalization: Don’t give up now

Published on: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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Zahniser: Message to Council: RFP Results, Electioneering

Published on: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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Cowles: Info on Xcel’s campaign consultant

Published on: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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Hoffman: Brief history of Boulder’s votes on public power

Published on: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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K.K. DuVivier: Referring a measure to the ballot

Published on: Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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Pomerance: Bad process, worse outcome on Xcel ballot proposal

Published on: Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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Regelson: Franchise– Las Cruces got $20 Million-why aren’t we?

Published on: Monday, August 17, 2020

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Stephen Whitaker: Please Keep the Franchise Off the Ballot

Published on: Sunday, August 16, 2020

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Susan Peterson: Municipalization: Let’s put Xcel on ice

Published on: Sunday, August 16, 2020

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Schoechle: Xcel Franchise may risk Boulder’s broadband fiber future

Published on: Sunday, August 16, 2020

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Takahashi: BoulderXcel – The Road Less Traveled

Published on: Saturday, August 15, 2020

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Suzanne Bhatt: Municipalization: Supporters aren’t like Trump’s followers

Published on: Friday, August 14, 2020

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Guest opinion: Phil Wardwell: Straight talk about proposed franchise deal

Published on: Friday, August 14, 2020

August 11, 2020 Time for straight talk about the proposed deal for an Xcel Energy franchise for Boulder. There are two agreements – the franchise agreement and a side agreement.… Read more

5 Reasons NOT to Send a Franchise to the Voters in 2020

Published on: Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 13, 2020 Want Boulder to Stay on the Path to 100% Renewable Energy? If so, we need to stay out of a 20-year franchise agreement with Xcel. See 5… Read more

Evan Freirich: Municipalization: Franchise deal isn’t so great

Published on: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020 Boulder, after fierce “negotiations” with Xcel Energy regarding our electric utility franchise, has successfully forced Xcel to do what Xcel was already legally committed to do anyway.… Read more

Steve Pomerance: Xcel contributing to campaigning for the Franchise

Published on: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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Paul Culnan: Bait and switch

Published on: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

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Lisa Morzel: Broadband

Published on: Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020 Dear Council, (In response to email message to Council from Steve Pomerance.) Thanks, Steve. Honestly all of this is sooooo poorly considered and little is not thought… Read more

Lisa Morzel: Democracy vs Xcel

Published on: Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020 Dear Council members, I will keep this short as I know you have been swamped with emails and phone calls. As a 20-year member of the Boulder… Read more

Steve Pomerance: Broadband

Published on: Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020 To Council, BTW, the Franchise Agreement specifically does NOT allow the City to use Xcel’s poles for broadband. So if this Franchise Agreement goes into effect, forget… Read more

Duncan Gilchrist: Deal with Xcel Will Lock Boulder Into A Future of Energy Inequity

Published on: Monday, August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020 Dear City Council, If you are serious about doing what is in your control to amend the systems that perpetuate racial and socioeconomic inequalities, we should not… Read more

Comments from Professor K.K. DuVivier concerning a possible franchise with Xcel

Published on: Monday, August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020 Dear Council, Tomorrow Ordinance 8410 is on the Consent Agenda for Council, and I strongly encourage you either not to vote this forward at all or only… Read more

Paul Culnan: Xcel Settlement Financial Analysis?

Published on: Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020 Hello City Council, Municipalization is most often argued against as a waste of money, but the Xcel Settlement could turn out to be the most expensive path… Read more

Suzanne Jones: Pls Make No Commitments on Muni Franchise Tonight

Published on: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020 Dear esteemed City Council members— I thank you sincerely for your service to the City, especially during these challenging times. As a recent past Council member and… Read more

Conor J. May: Municipalization – Be wary of Xcel

Published on: Thursday, July 23, 2020

JULY 23, 2020 The future of our city’s electric power is in our hands. We have options. We would be unwise to throw those options away at a time when… Read more

Crystal Gray: Climate Justice and Equity- why local electrical control is important

Published on: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020 Hi Council, At each of the listening sessions I have brought up Climate Justice and Equity and asked to have the proposed Boulder Power and Light (Muni)… Read more

Lisa Morzel: please don’t dismiss the economic investment the City has made in our future

Published on: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020 Dear Boulder City Council, I am reaching out to each of you prior to your discussion tonight regarding a potential franchise agreement or settlement with Xcel.  I… Read more

PLAN-Boulder: Xcel Franchise Negotiations

Published on: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020 To Boulder City Council: PLAN-Boulder County has been a strong and consistent supporter of municipalizing Boulder’s electric utility since the idea was first brought forward by our… Read more

Susan M. Osborne: Xcel franchise agreement

Published on: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020 Dear Mayor and City Council members, You’ve heard from many people the many many reasons to stay the course with Boulder’s municipalization effort. The technical, financial, environmental… Read more

Macon Cowles: Not the time to take an exit ramp from the Muni Project

Published on: Monday, July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020 Dear Council: We on past Councils always knew that Municipalization (“MuniZ”) is a long game—a generational effort that can transform energy flows and put the brakes on… Read more

Christopher Warren: Electric service – Don’t rush into Xcel deal

Published on: Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 19, 2020 The Boulder City Council is currently considering signing a franchise agreement with Xcel Energy to supply the city with power for the foreseeable future. I do not… Read more

Guest opinion: Chris Hoffman – Lessons in persistence from neighboring municipal utilities

Published on: Friday, July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020 By Chris Hoffman Today the Fort Collins municipal utility is a role model for other utilities. It operates and maintains one of the most reliable electric distribution… Read more

Xcel Franchise – Decision Assistance

Published on: Thursday, July 16, 2020

TO: Boulder City Council Members, Media RE: Xcel Franchise – Decision Assistance from EOF DATE: 7.18.2020 To the Council, We appreciate the attention that you are giving to the negotiations… Read more

Eric Lombardi: Electric service – Don’t be fooled by Xcel

Published on: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020 I worked at the vanguard of the Zero Waste Movement 25 years ago. Today is now the time for the clean energy future to emerge. I spent… Read more

Paul Culnan: Show Me What Competition Looks Like

Published on: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020 Dear Council, This is what competition looks like, from Utility Dive, July 14, 2020: TVA offers over $500M in additional incentives to quell talk of Memphis utility… Read more

Julie Zahniser: Better Colorado Energy Plan

Published on: Thursday, July 9, 2020

Most Boulderites agree: we want low-cost clean electricity as soon as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if a Colorado utility had a plan for 95% carbon reduction by 2030? Such… Read more

Paul Culnan: What We Know

Published on: Thursday, July 9, 2020

What we know Here is what we know: We know that global warming is a pandemic we are in the midst of. We know that fossil fuel use is the… Read more

Leslie Glustrom: Electric service: Choose partners wisely

Published on: Saturday, July 4, 2020

When choosing a partner for a new business or a key endeavor, it is best to be clear eyed about the partner’s strengths and weaknesses. So it is as Boulder… Read more

Muni: A fountain of opportunity

Published on: Thursday, July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020 As the City of Boulder enters negotiations with Xcel, City leaders should look south to see what is happening in Fountain, Colorado. They have a municipal electric… Read more

Paul Culnan: Get local control for Boulder’s electricity

Published on: Friday, June 26, 2020

I am in favor of local control of our electricity supply and am writing in defense of the municipalization process. Some of you might want to stop reading at this… Read more

Michael Holtz: Municipalization: Stay the course

Published on: Friday, June 26, 2020

Last Sunday’s editorial reminds me of the saying: “With friends like you, who needs enemies!” I guess 10 years is too long, in your opinion, to gain full and complete… Read more

Marguerite Behringer: Comments on the talks with Xcel

Published on: Monday, June 15, 2020

June 15, 2020 Dear City Council, Good morning and thank you so much for the wonderful work you do for the City. I write today to express some concerns about… Read more

Bob Westby: Municipalization supports virus financial recovery

Published on: Saturday, June 13, 2020

Due to the virus, Boulder’s economy is facing the new reality of a significant financial crisis for an extended period. This column “stands up” the position that a critical benefit… Read more

Julie Zahniser: Clean energy: Reducing carbon emissions

Published on: Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Most Boulderites agree: We want low-cost clean electricity as soon as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if a Colorado utility had a plan for 95 percent carbon reduction by 2030?… Read more

Steve Whitaker: The muni: Xcel is a monopoly

Published on: Monday, June 1, 2020

As our city leaders engage Xcel in yet another episode of negotiations, it would be wise for them to bear in mind that a leopard cannot change its spots. Xcel… Read more

Chris Hoffman: Xcel’s risky overture

Published on: Thursday, May 28, 2020

In this time of pandemic, no one wants to take unnecessary risks. We are all hoping that as we navigate this crisis, we will do it in a way that… Read more

Why is Boulder pursuing a partnership with Xcel when residents have repeatedly voted in support of the muni?

Published on: Thursday, May 21, 2020

By Matt Cortina Over the last decade, Boulder residents voted to pursue a municipal electric utility six times: First, in 2011, to authorize a municipal utility and to fund planning… Read more

EOF Letter to City Council

Published on: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

www.empowerourfuture.org May 19, 2020 Dear City Council and Staff Empower Our Future would like to share with you some of our observations and expectations for the discussions with Xcel regarding… Read more

David Takahashi: Guest Opinion

Published on: Saturday, March 28, 2020

A recent Xcel Energy announcement that it achieved a company record emissions reduction last year yielded conflicting responses from Boulder residents on the value of the city’s municipal utility effort… Read more

Regina Cowles: Voter suppression tactics not welcome

Published on: Thursday, November 23, 2017

Had the polling place not been positioned in a partial construction zone, not well-known, hard to identify and even more difficult to reach, it’s clear to me that many more… Read more

Boulder Voters Approve Tax Continuing Municipal Utility Exploration

Published on: Friday, November 10, 2017

“YES” Vote on 2L Moves Boulder Public Power into Final Stages Boulder, CO, November 10, 2017 — By a 3.5% margin that turned around dramatically when final ballots were counted,… Read more

Ning Mosberger-Tang: A crucial misunderstanding of muni ballot issues

Published on: Monday, November 6, 2017

In a recent discussion of municipal utility ballot measures with my friends, I realize that there exists a crucial misunderstanding of the ballot measures 2L, 2O and 2P. Ballot measure… Read more

Chris Hoffman: Muni off-ramp leads to a swamp of debt

Published on: Saturday, November 4, 2017

Opponents have tried to scare the community by talking about the high cost of public power, but why have they never mentioned the higher cost of staying with Xcel? Taking… Read more

Duncan Gilcrest: Move Forward on Clean Energy

Published on: Thursday, November 2, 2017

In a talk a few days ago at Yale University, Bill McKibben pointed out that even if every nation kept their promises made with the Paris Climate Accords, the actions… Read more

Amber Hess: I’m pulling for the planet

Published on: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I’m worried about all these intense hurricanes, droughts, and fires. Climate change just seems to be happening faster and faster. I’m afraid for my son’s future. I think it is… Read more

Rene Rosario: Make Energy Public

Published on: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I support what Cameron Brooks says in his guest opinion (“Municipalization is about more than clean electrons”) that creating our own publicly owned utility is “a step into the future.”… Read more

I wish I could vote in Boulder’s muni election

Published on: Monday, October 30, 2017

I’m not lucky enough to get to vote in the wonderful City of Boulder. But if I were, I know that I’d be voting YES on ballot initiative 2L to… Read more

Hunter Lovins: The Battle for Boulder’s Future

Published on: Monday, October 30, 2017

In the placid university town of Boulder, Colorado, a battle rages that will shape the future of the city and its citizens. On November 7th, Boulder voters will choose to… Read more

Blake Jones: Make Xcel compete

Published on: Sunday, October 29, 2017

I’m an entrepreneur and small business owner who lives in Boulder, and I’m a strong advocate for voting “yes” on the two municipalization-related ballot initiatives: 2L and 2O. Without 2L,… Read more