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A “shot across the bow” for Real. Local. Power.

| Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 5, 2013 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

In 2011, citizens of Boulder, CO, opted to oust their monopoly, corporate electric utility for a locally owned, cleaner, more affordable model despite being outspent 10-to-1.  They’ve since shown that a locally owned utility could deliver 54% renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions by half, and all at a cost as good or better than the incumbent utility.

But Xcel Energy is doubling down after their 2011 loss, preparing to spend well more than $1 million (what they spent in 2011) to protect their profits (and their outmoded business model).  They’ve sponsored a new ballot initiative that would spike Boulder’s wheel and make running a municipal utility nearly impossible.  It’s a textbook example of a corporation looking to buy the election result they want, and all that’s standing in their way is a committed group of local citizens.

But the citizens aren’t giving up without a fight.  This video – headlining their crowdfunding campaign – shows what’s at stake, and how you can be part of a solution to deliver real. local. power. in Boulder, and across the country.  Boulder might be the first to fight to be energy deciders for a cleaner energy future, but it’s not fighting alone.  Already their campaign has raised 3 times it’s goal of $40,000, and with a little more help (from you), they can put up a terrific people powered campaign to stop one utility’s dirty money, and put a shot across the bow on local climate action.

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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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  • Ironic that the shot at 4:25 shows an agricultural site that was slated for a Solar Community Garden by the farmer and a solar developer but which was vetoed by Boulder County planners under a land use technicality. So in addition to the big IOUs we’re also up against entrenched bureaucratic inertia in the effort to clean up and localize our power generation capacity…