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News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
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    Lawmakers have introduced legislation to try to stop Xcel Energy from closing its outdated Cameo Station power plant, a coal-solar plant that Xcel says is too costly and impractical to maintain. Debate over the law sees politicians flipping ideology on its side. Grand Junction-area Republicans looking to preserve jobs in coal country are attempting to [...]

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    Both Xcel Energy and environmental groups cautiously praised Thursday’s unanimous decision by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to convert the Cherokee 4 coal-fired power plant unit to natural gas. But both sides are clearly still concerned about the details in the plan. Xcel officials originally wanted to keep Cherokee 4 running on coal until [...]

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    On June 3rd in Fort Collins, CO, Leslie Glustrom of Clean Energy Action was awarded Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s (CRES) most prestigious award, The Larson-Notari, for her exemplary contributions in the field of renewable energy. Glustrom joins the ranks of leaders such as Governor Ritter and Amory Lovins in the receipt of this award. “I [...]

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    We’re going to be exposed to future fuel price volatility one way or another. If we stick with Xcel, it’ll be coal prices which seem low today, but are difficult to hedge against. If we strike out on our own, it’ll be gas prices, which are about the same cost as coal today, and are [...]

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    At the time the settlers arrived at Plymouth Rock, people back in England had already been burning coal for generations. Londoners complained about coal smoke during Queen Elizabeth I’s era. A century before the American Revolution, in 1660, an Englishman named John Evelyn published one of the world’s first treatises on air pollution. He complained [...]

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    Solar power is getting cheaper. It’s something of a parlor game among energy companies and analysts to predict when, exactly, solar will achieve “grid parity” with coal and other cheap sources of electricity—in other words, when it will be just as economical to buy clean, renewable energy as it will be to buy coal power. [...]

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    Centralia has been on fire for almost fifty years. The mines under the town—a vast network designed to tap the veins of purplish anthracite coal that spread weblike throughout the county—have been burning since 1962. The conflagration probably began in a stripping pit next to the cemetery, creeping along the deposits of fuel, burning up [...]

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    The Boulder vote should send a message to utilities around the country as well as other communities that are tired of inaction on climate goals. In Colorado, while Xcel is on track to have 25% renewable energy in their portfolio by 2020 (a commitment which has positioned them as the nation’s leading utility for wind [...]

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    Almost immediately after we empowered Boulder to form a utility, a spate of articles appeared in the national press talking about the relative costs of coal and renewables, and the trends in those costs. There was Krugman’s Here Comes Solar Energy Op-Ed in the NY Times, making the case that solar PV is already cheaper [...]

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    When all the data is in, it looks like carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will have gone up 2 percent in 2013 from the previous year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said on Monday. The main reason, it said, is an uptick in the use of coal for electric power. [...]

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    As the Boulder City Council considers the merits of municipalization and Boulder’s carbon reduction goals, it is essential to recognize that there are opportunities and risks with EITHER path going forward—establishing a muni or establishing a deal with Xcel. With all of Xcel’s major coal suppliers now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with Xcel’s failure to […]

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    Two weeks ago, Xcel made a set of 11th hour electricity provision offers to Boulder, a so-called “partnership,” and a buy-out option. Readers should understand that Xcel’s offers are not what the city asked for; they are only what Xcel is willing to proffer.  These offers are lousy deals for Boulder and future generations (see the […]