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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense
Boulder Community Groups Launch Campaign to Form Independent Utility
BOULDER, COLORADO.-- On August 19, a coalition of Boulder community organizations, local businesses, and individuals launched 'Empower Our Future,' a campaign to form Boulder’s own clean energy utility to promote the growth of solar and wind energy in Boulder. Currently, Boulder residents get their electricity from Xcel Energy. “Boulder residents demand a clean energy solution,” said Rebecca Dickson, co-chair of the Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group. “Xcel Energy is not facilitating a true expansion of clean energy for Boulder.”
The coalition is calling for Boulder to focus on energy efficiency, reliability, cost control, and clean energy like wind and solar. The Sierra Club has provided funding to allow the campaign to support local volunteers and activists as they begin grassroots organizing efforts in support of the clean energy muni.
“We hope to create the electric utility of the future-- one based on clean power rather than fossil fuels,” said Steve Fenberg, Executive Director of New Era Colorado. “And if we're successful, we hope Boulder can be a new model that ignites change for communities all over the country."
Xcel has invested heavily in coal-fired power plants here in Colorado and elsewhere that contribute to carbon emissions and air and water pollution that is hazardous to human health. The Empower Our Future campaign believes that a non-profit municipal utility would better serve Boulder and our environment.
"Local control of Boulder's electricity future - the 'muni' option - is quite likely to give us more than 50% renewables at competitive rates and a path to 75 and then 100% renewables," said Ken Regelson, founder of EnergyShouldBe.org. "Xcel Energy's plan includes dirty coal and natural gas plants - a plan that would stick us with roughly twice the greenhouse gas emissions over 20 years than what a utility run by the city of Boulder would have. A muni in Boulder would be cleaner, providing our children with healthy and safe futures."
About the Empower Our Future
Empower Our Future is an expanding coalition of community organizations, local businesses, and individuals working to bring the best local clean energy future to Boulder. We are working to educate the public, to respond to the Xcel anti-muni ballot measure, and to complete the Boulder Municipal Electric Utility exploration process that voters approved in 2011. Xcel will spend millions in an effort to deny us our ability to produce cleaner, more reliable energy. This grassroots campaign supports local innovation, sustainability, and a prosperous fossil free future. For more information, visit http://empowerourfuture.org/