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Rocky Mountain Chapter

Boulder energy municipalization, fracking, more on ballots

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team
 
In 2011 Boulder voters approved a ballot measure allowing the City of Boulder to explore forming its own electric utility. Now, Xcel Energy is backing a new amendment to the City Charter that would stop Boulder from being able to pursue its clean energy goals. Sierra Club’s Indian Peaks Group (IPG) weighs in with recommendations on this and other ballot measures in its area.

The nearby city of Lafayette also has several ballot issues of interest, including keeping fracking out of the city limits, that IPG is interested in and making recommendations for.

First, a little background on the Boulder issue. Boulder’s goal is to build a clean energy future with 50-percent renewables and includes a path to a 100-percent, fossil-free future. Once all the costs are determined, it could include building a municipal power structure that meets the objectives for a sustainable system of energy generation for power and light.

After studying Xcel Energy’s coal-heavy power production, Boulder demonstrated that the best method to achieve its goals was to create its own municipal power system. The city’s study was thoroughly evaluated by Power Services, an independent consulting firm and found to be exceptionally well done.

IPG Political Chair Steve Welter strongly urges voters in the Boulder election to vote “No” on Ballot Measure 310, an Xcel-backed amendment to the city charter. “This would kill the city’s ability to move forward with municipalization of its energy or any other options,” Welter said, adding that a “Yes” vote on 2E, the Electric Utility Charter Amendment, would be a “good alternative to 310.”
 
Welter and other IPG leaders recommend that voters in Boulder and Lafayette cast their ballots in the following ways on the following important environmental issues:

City of Boulder
NO 310 – XCEL–Backed Amendment to City Charter
YES 2B – Transportation Sales Tax
YES 2C – Open Space Sales Tax Extension
YES 2E – Electric Utility Charter Amendment (good alternative to 310)
YES 2F – Negotiated or Private Bond Sales
YES 2H – 5 Year Extension for Moratorium on Oil and Gas Development
 
City of Lafayette
NO 2A – Renewal of XCEL 20-year Franchise Agreement
YES 300 – Prohibit Oil and Gas Development (no fracking in Lafayette)
YES 301 – Utility Occupation Tax



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