Municipalization will give us more renewables at lower cost

I would like to bring attention to the recent data published by the city of Boulder regarding electricity costs if we create our own public utility. It is estimated that Xcel’s electricity costs in 2024, when we would potentially switch, will be $123.6 million per year with an estimated 53 percent renewables. The estimate for wholesale power purchased as a public utility is $83.9 million per year, with 89 percent renewables! I am incredibly encouraged that we can save almost $40 million per year on electricity costs and also greatly increase our renewable energy.

The estimate comes from a Request for Indicative Pricing that was sent out to potentially interested wholesale power suppliers, and a number of them responded. The lowest estimate provided was the one with 89 percent renewables on day one of the switch, for 10 years. Another estimate for 100 percent renewables by 2030, which is Boulder’s electricity goal, was only somewhat higher, at $93.3 million. Either would be a huge savings over the expected Xcel rates and get us much closer to our energy goals than Xcel is able to provide.

The full report from city staff to City Council can be found at bit.ly/2T8kg31; the estimated power costs are on packet page 10.

Brian Highland, Boulder

Attorney general and EPA nominees are unsuitable

It’s time that we demand that our senators act for us. They missed the boat when they allowed Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on to the Supreme Court. There are two nominations up for consideration now: William Barr seeking to become attorney general and Andrew Wheeler seeking to become EPA head.

Neither are suitable for the jobs they seek. We need to act quickly to have the kind of government we want and need. Otherwise we will be ruled by folks who have no respect for the will of the people — only respect big bucks and corporate power.

The hearings for these people allow clever use of language. Even when candidates lie, they will never be brought to account. So we must look at their histories. Barr was AG under Bush “I.” Barr worked to get pardons for six of the dozen Reagan officials who had been convicted during the Iran-Contra scandal. Their sentences were largely a few years on probation, although their offenses were very serious (search Iran Contra). Subsequently, Barr has publicly argued for more mass incarceration and has co-chaired a commission opposing probation. Big shots get pardoned while the rest of us become potential fodder in making the largest prison population in the world.

Barr has supported aggressive anti-immigrant policies, praised surveillance of ordinary Americans, off-handedly opposes Roe v. Wade and opposes civil rights for transgender people (search “No Relief: William Barr Is as Bad as Jeff Sessions”).

Until recently, Wheeler was a lobbyist for the Murray coal mining conglomerate. Murray holdings have been involved in a number of mine disasters. Maybe they need lobbyists to help change the rules. Before that, he was in tight with climate-denying Sen. Inhofe.

Call Sen. Bennet at 202-224-5852 and Sen. Gardner at 202-224-5941.

Tom Moore, Boulder

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