Climate Action

In a nutshell: I work hard for clean energy and believe that municipalization is the best (and perhaps only) way Boulder can meet its climate commitment goals and become more resilient.

For more than ten years, I’ve worked to advance clean energy sources, mitigate climate change, and improve resiliency:

  • Appointed to the Clean Energy Development Authority in 2007
  • Served on the Board of Directors (BOD) of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association 2011 and 2012
  • Conducted clean energy modelling for municipalization campaign in 2011 with Empower Our Future
  • Debated Xcel and anti-muni representatives in support of muni effort 8 times in the 2011 election cycle
  • Served on BOD of Clean Energy Action 2010-2013
  • Helped develop and title-set a citizens’ petition with CCRI for a state-wide carbon tax in 2008
  • Conducted analysis and education for CU class and otherwise spoke publicly about the impact of fracked methane emissions on climate.
  • Strongly advocated for and supported strict energy codes for new and existing buildings.
  • Worked passionately and diligently over seven years to advance the muni, negotiating with Xcel for best possible offers for settlement (I ultimately supported rejection)
  • Successfully supported commercial recycling and composting ordinance, many open space acquisitions, and worked to implement a climate commitment (80% by 2050) and 100% renewables commitment by 2030.
  • Professionally I work to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy technology advancement through Cool Energy and Proton Power.

Over the next four years, if elected, I will work to:

  • Limit the possibility of fracking operations on open space
  • Support strategic acquisition of mineral rights under open space when possible
  • Lobby at the state level for increased local authority to ban or limit fracking activities in Boulder.
  • Continue to support the City organization reducing its carbon emissions through Energy Service Contract
  • Continue supporting exploration of municipalization
  • Support state legislation for a modern path to municipalization
  • Continue to support City involvement in Colorado Cities for Climate Action.

 

More About the Muni

Unless Xcel radically changes course, Boulder (and other Colorado cities) will never reach their climate commitment goals. In the best possible projections, even if Xcel gets all it aspires to (which may be a bad deal for ratepayers) it may only achieve a 55% emissions reduction by 2030.

Boulder is committed to a carbon-emissions-free electricity system by 2030. The only way for Boulder to meet its climate and energy goals (which I helped to establish and am personally committed to) is a municipal electric utility. The additional benefits of a muni include local democratic control as well as the ability to test and establish new energy provider business models, which can further advance clean energy goals outside of the Boulder footprint. Supporting the muni is foundational to me, and even if Boulder’s efforts were to fail, I would continue to support state action towards a rational modern path to municipalization.

More About Clean Energy

We cannot continue to burn fossil fuels – we must transition to carbon-free energy. To the extent that dispatchable fuel-fired electricity sources are necessary (and electrical and thermal storage may make that requirement obsolete), the best fuel-fired electricity is from methane produced from renewable biomass sources that do not contribute to climate change. Downdraft gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, and fluidized-bed processing of biomass and organic waste all produce high-quality renewable methane which can be used for electricity production and home heating. There is abundant wood waste and construction and demolition waste, which are the feedstocks for non-fossil methane and syngas, and these should be used to displace all forms of fossil carbon combustion, including in electricity generation. State law should be used to support and incentivize the transition to renewable natural gas (bio-gas) and electricity storage, so that any form of fossil gas combustion is no longer allowed. All power must be generated from sources that do not add to the burden of climate change.