“Boulder resident and longtime Xcel Energy watchdog Leslie Glustrom was denied her final appeal Thursday to participate in a case at the Public Utilities Commission involving the utility.But some state legislators say they may introduce a bill that would protect the rights of individuals, like Glustrom, to “intervene” in such cases.”This isnt about an individual,” said state Rep. Matt Jones, D-Louisville. “This is about the publics right to have a meaningful voice in PUC matters, whether it be energy, taxi cabs or moving companies — whatever the PUC regulates.”"
Boulder city attorney to investigate conflict-of-interest complaint against Ken Wilson – Boulder Daily Camera
Boulder’s city attorney will conduct an investigation into whether Councilman Ken Wilson has violated the city’s laws on conflicts of interest through his private work on energy issues.
Steve Pomerance, a former councilman and a staunch proponent of Boulder cutting its ties with Xcel Energy in favor of forming a municipal utility, asked the council Tuesday night to launch an investigation into Wilson’s relationship with the utility.
Wilson, who owns a consulting company that works on solar gardens and other energy issues, opposes creating a municipal utility.
Pomerance suggested that Wilson’s contacts and relationships with Xcel may have influenced council discussions on topics such as the Xcel
“Last week four high-ranking officials from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines spoke out in support of a clean energy future for America. They published an op-ed in the Tampa Tribune, a paper based in the Sunshine State and located in the home of U.S. Central Command.
Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, and Lt. Gen. Norman Seip have a collective century of experience in defending America’s national security. And they all see our dependence on oil as a growing threat to that security.
The military services know they must embrace clean energy — not because it is cutting-edge or politically correct but because it makes sense for our troops and our country’s security.
“The military knows climate change is happening and that our current energy posture is a growing threat to national security,” write the generals and Admiral McGinn. “Clean energy is a solution we must pursue.””
Government Investments in Renewables Significantly Lower than “Traditional” Energy Sources; Solar Company, Solyndra, Fails | Clean Energy Action
“According to the 2011 report from the venture capital firm, DBL Investors, “[In the United States], all new energy industries – timber, coal, oil and gas, nuclear – have received substantial government support at a pivotal time in their early growth, creating millions of jobs and significant economic growth. Subsidies for these ‘traditional’ energy sources were many, many times what [the U.S.] is spending today on renewables.” According to the same report, “America’s support for energy innovation has helped drive U.S. growth for more than 200 years, yet government support for new energy sources is much lower today than it has been at any other point in U.S. history.” The DBL report on “traditional” and renewable energy subsidies can be read at this link.”
City Council Endorsements: Mixing Boulder’s various business, preservation interests – Boulder Daily Camera
“We don’t endorse incumbent Ken Wilson this time around. He’s a smart and affable man, but he seemed to be unconcerned with conflicts of interest regarding the city’s energy measures and his business partnership with the paid leader of the Boulder Smart Energy Coalition. With an issue that could potentially impact so many people, we favor elected officials who would take a strong ethical, very cautious approach to both perceived and genuine conflicts. Out of all the incumbents, he was the least specific about his plans and goals for the city.”
But with $100 million a year in revenues from Boulder ratepayers on the line, Xcel’s fight is getting as dirty as its nearby Cherokee coal plant. Xcel has dumped over $450,000 into a vote no campaign, 10 times the expenditures of the grassroots groups supporting the municipalization ballot measure. The utility’s front group has flogged a web advertisement that falsely asserts that electricity will be unreliable if the city has control, even though 1 in 7 Americans gets their (reliable) electricity from municipal utilities. Xcel has posted job notices on light poles offering residents up to $12 an hour to work as “grassroots” utility flaks. And in a purely spiteful move, Xcel also succeeded in banning Boulder resident Leslie Glustrom from participating at the Public Utilities Commission, where she had asked tough questions about Xcel’s new coal power plants and proposed rate increases.
A certain amount of trust needs to exist between the Open Forum and its contributors. We do as much fact checking as we can, but letter writers and guest opinion authors, at some level, have to be taken at their word as they express their opinions and beliefs. When we publish a factual error, we follow our newspaper’s corrections policy, and publish corrections on page 2A.
Rarely, a letter is published that should not have been published at all, as the facts that form the entire argument are incorrect. Such a letter was published this week. Because the topic is so critical at this time, we wanted to correct it here.
On Monday, Boulder resident Dan Hersh wrote that his winter home in Vero Beach, Fla., is run by a municipal utility that he believes has unsophisticated management. In what Hersh now terms an unintentional mistake, he said the electric rates have more than doubled since 2007.
A reader alerted us to that factual error. After talking with the utility in Vero Beach and checking with the Florida Municipal Electrical Association, it turns out that the rates have declined over the stated time frame. Year-over-year comparisons that include base rates and fuel costs from 2008 to 2011 showed a decline for each month, January-August. And the rate for 1,000-kilowatt-hours of electric use was $132.17 in October 2007, compared with $114.43 in October 2011. We regret the error.
Erika Stutzman, Editorial Page Editor
“Oil and the other fossil fuel energies that make up the industrial way of life are fading, and the technologies made from and propelled by these energies are antiquated. The entire industrial infrastructure built on the back of fossil fuels is aging and in disrepair.”
The facts: Ballot Issue 2C bouldercolorado.gov/files/Elections/2011/2011_Ballot_Measure_Certification.pdf asks voters to generally grant the city of Boulder the authority to create a municipal utility. But that authority has strings attached. The ballot language says Boulder can only create its own electric utility if the City Council “determines that it can acquire the electrical distribution system in Boulder and charge rates that do not exceed those rates charged by Xcel Energy at the time of acquisition.”
“From Alaska to Georgia and Wyoming to Florida, utilities are seeking permission to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in new charges to customers to help upgrade aging infrastructure and build new or retrofitted power plants that comply with tougher environmental regulations, a Daily Beast review of regulatory filings has found. The influx of requests, many still pending before state regulators, has left energy experts convinced that electricity prices will be on the rise for the foreseeable future as the industry struggles to modernize its aging infrastructure.”