Peace Train: Boulder’s Eco-Cycle supports the efforts of community electric utility

T he Board and Staff at Eco-Cycle, your local nonprofit zero-waste enterprise, are supporting the effort to continue analyzing the path toward a community electric utility.

Despite what Xcel seems to be implying, a YES vote does NOT mean that Boulder is definitely creating a city utility. It means only that we can continue the process already begun of serious due-diligence to help City Council make the best decision in the future.

The potential benefits of a community electric utility are real, and so are the concerns,

But we must keep moving forward on developing this idea before we make a final decision. Only a YES vote on 2B and 2C will allow that. WITHOUT a YES vote, our options are closed, the information gathering will stop, and we just have to take what Xcel gives us.

There are no risks to a YES vote. This is not the “big decision” to create a city electric utility. That decision awaits us in the future. Don’t buy the fear that XCEL is selling — we are not a “can’t do” community, we are a “can do” community, and that requires our minds to be open and focused on creating a better Boulder.

Why would a resource conservation organization like Eco-Cycle care about this issue?

Because we care about all topics critical to our mission. We support the community desire to create local clean infrastructure for our essential daily living activities, likerecycling, transportation, electricity, heat and water. The people who live in Boulder want to create a community electric utility, (as 29 other Colorado communities already are, including Longmont and Colorado Springs) so we can get more than what the bottom-line marketplace can provide… and that is a GREEN infrastructure. There is no risk in continued research to see if we can create a green, community-owned infrastructure to give us the most environmentally responsible, lowest cost energy possible. There IS a risk to stopping the research. It commits us to at least 20 more years of coal power with no community control.

To Eco-Cycle, that is an unacceptable risk, and we urge you to vote YES on 2B and 2C.

Eric Lombardi is Boulder Eco-Cycle’s executive director.