The opposition utility dumped $1 million into the campaign and outspent local activists 10-to-1, but Boulder citizens narrowly passed a measure giving the city the go-ahead to pursue a municipal electric utility with a goal of much more clean, local power. Here’s a short video about the campaign.
This short video by the City of Boulder shows how the city council has teamed up with the nearby municipal utility in Ft. Collins to demystify the business of running an electric utility. This short video is a tour of local electric infrastructure.
If you missed her stellar presentation, now’s your chance to hear how Boulder finally came to municipalization of its electric system after many futile years of trying to work with Xcel Energy to get more clean, local power.
Star Tribune | September 23, 2012
As Minneapolis pushes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third by 2025, city leaders are debating what role their franchise agreements with utility companies should play.
The agreements, signed in the early 1990s, give Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy space below or along streets, alleys and other public rights of way in exchange for millions of dollars in franchise fees.
But the city imposes no renewable energy requirements in the contracts. Minnesota law doesn’t allow municipalities to make those conditions in franchise agreements.
City Council members last week voted to create a work group to help determine the city’s future with Xcel and CenterPoint, whose agreements expire at the end of 2014. Officials expect to examine a range of possibilities, including pressing the state to give cities more authority in their utility agreements, reducing the span of agreements to just a couple of years rather than decades and having the city take over providing utilities.
Examining franchise contracts is only one way to meet emissions targets, said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who chairs the regulatory committee.
“But it’s a big agreement, and it is directly with utility companies, and so, obviously, thinking about those goals, and is there a way to impact them, is going to be on our minds,” she said.
Our campaign is generating a lot of public interest in the city’s expiring contracts with Xcel and CenterPoint Energy, so much so that the city’s communications department just launched a new website to explain the process!