‘Boulder, Xcel in talks to end city’s bid to create electric utility’


By Max R. Weller

Read the article in the Daily Camera. Excerpt copied below:

Boulder and Xcel Energy on Wednesday announced they are discussing a possible settlement to ongoing litigation that would end the city’s push to form a municipal electric utility.

Under any agreement, both parties said, Xcel would continue to be the electric service provider to Boulder customers.

The city’s bid to municipalize is not being suspended, however. Boulder now heads on a dual path, on which it continues to work on its application to the state Public Utilities Commission to acquire certain Xcel facilities and create its own utility, while also engaging in settlement talks with Xcel.

The discussions are expected to carry over the next few months, Boulder said in a news release. A proposed settlement could come before the City Council this summer, and a new franchise agreement — which requires voter approval — could be placed on the November ballot.

A ballot question could also reach voters in November 2017, if a settlement doesn’t happen in time for this year’s election.

To date, the city has spent more than $10.4 million on its municipalization bid. Just more than $8 million of that money has come out of the Utility Occupation Tax approved by voters in 2011, which brings in about $1.9 million on average annually.

That tax revenue has gone toward legal and consulting services, plus salary, benefits, office space and supplies for the city’s Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development project.

Any claim by the City of Boulder that it’s pursuing both a settlement with Xcel and its own electric utility at the same time is LUDICROUS — sort of like Bernie Sanders remaining in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president after he’s LOST.

No more Rainbows and Unicorns . . .


But, like Sen. Sanders, we should give city leaders in Boulder space and time to ease themselves out of the picture . . .



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