Letters 6.3.21

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We are watching

As young leaders in Colorado, we have seen first-hand the devastating effects of climate change. We’ve lived through increasingly brutal wildfires, which destroyed homes, made our air quality the worst in the country last summer, and put both rural and urban communities on the front lines.  We need our elected officials to do everything in their power to avert the climate crisis.

Governor Jared Polis is failing us all by threatening to veto one of the most important climate bills this legislative session. SB21-200, “Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Increase Environmental Justice,” will fine companies that pollute more than the allowed amounts in the governor’s own Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. Communities need safe air, and this bill gives them more power over toxic neighborhood emissions by creating an ombudsman to investigate complaints — the first step toward environmental justice for Colorado. This bill is critical: Without it, greenhouse gas emissions will continue, and they’re projected to be more than twice our roadmap targets for 2025, showing we can’t rely on industry to moderate themselves.

Governor Polis, this is your chance to keep your promise. You told us you would pass science-based legislation to meet the needs of Coloradans. You said you’d match actions to the scale of the climate crisis. You claimed you would make Colorado a leader in facing the existential crisis of our generation. Don’t back down now. We urge you to sign SB21-200 when it reaches your desk. We are watching.

The Sunrise Movement/Denver/Boulder Hub

Watch Xcel’s Monopoly

Thank you for the good reporting in the Boulder Weekly on climate subjects. On May 13, you reminded Boulder readers of the many weaknesses in the “deal” with Xcel that now governs our electricity. On May 20, you covered the “Out of Time” protests for strong climate legislation in Colorado while also running a long story on Community Choice Energy and how it is helping many communities reach their climate goals faster. Thank you so much for these stories!

Boulder’s electricity provider, Xcel Energy, is headed in the right direction, but their pace is slower than it needs to be and their price reflects their monopolistic approach — keep charging customers more for products like wind, solar and storage that are likely to keep costing less. Only a monopoly would propose such a scheme.

Moreover, Xcel is proposing to continue burning coal until 2039 and earn their full level of profit for doing so — an unconscionable and uneconomic proposal given what we know in 2021 about climate change and cleaner, lower-cost alternatives.

Thanks to Representative Edie Hooton and the Colorado legislature, we may have an alternative “Community Choice Energy” option to choose from in a couple of years as a result of HB21-1269. 

Boulder residents should pay close attention to what Xcel is proposing to charge us and how many more fossil fuels they intend to burn, so that we can be ready to choose our electricity provider wisely.

Leslie Glustrom/Boulder

Another Iran deal

Hopefully President Biden will make nuclear deals with Iran and North Korea. However, it is equally to be hoped that he does not repeat the fatal flaw of the first Iran deal: It imposed a waiting period for the inspection of suspected sites. This would have allowed them to move the materials for making a nuclear weapon — such as enriched uranium — to a second site during the waiting period for the first site; then when the second site would come under suspicion, it would have a waiting period during which the material could be moved to a third site; and so on. (That is why a future president may cancel the deal again.)

Alvin Blake/Boulder