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Support Boulder’s municipal electric utility

As a 23-year-old living in 2017, I am often wary about the state of the world that my generation is inheriting. At the top of my list of concerns is a destabilizing climate system that will intensify problems of social and economic inequality across the globe for decades to come. My wariness is rooted in a simple calculation: Each year that our economic machine trudges forward powered by fossil fuels, the more suffering and loss we will inevitably endure in our lifetime.

So, what can we do about it? I invite young people who also feel uneasy about our collective future to support the creation of a local electric utility in Boulder by voting yes on 2L, 2O and 2P at the ballot box this fall. Why? Because we need local solutions that are as bold and comprehensive as the climate crisis is grave and life-threatening. Because this initiative is our best hope for averting the worst effects of climate change.

Sticking with Xcel energy, which plans on burning coal until 2070, will prevent Boulder from achieving 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Oppositely, separating from Xcel energy will remove barriers that restrict the emergence of a decentralized, democratically governed electricity system powered by local renewables. Making haste in removing such political and market barriers is crucial to letting the future unfold.

Boulder is on the verge of achieving something pretty incredible with its efforts to municipalize its electric utility. I urge my generational cohort — who understand the dire need for bold, paradigm-shifting solutions — to support Boulder’s efforts to liberate our power from Xcel energy and create a city-run electric utility. Within these types of local, concrete solutions, we might find respite from fear of what is to come and a good reason to be hopeful.

Duncan Gilchrist, Boulder

South campus development expands Boulder’s carbon footprint

In allowing the University of Colorado to develop its “south campus,” the Planning Commission and City Council have done a disservice to the people of Boulder, as well as to the life forces of the natural world.

While CU students are a major part of the cash flow within our beloved “Baghdad by the Flatirons,” there is a point of saturation where more people, more traffic, more heating and air conditioning, and more pavement outstrip the capacity and livability of the city.

Having a constantly expanding student population plays more to the university’s rental empire than to the quality of education offered there and should be treated no differently than any other corporate development enterprise.

The carbon footprint of Boulder should be reduced, not enlarged.

Robert Porath, Boulder

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