Boulder Mayor Susan Osborne Coming to Mpls
This month, Environment Minnesota is bringing former Boulder, Colorado Mayor Susan Osborne to Minneapolis for a Green Ideas and Ham discussion on municipal power. This should be a fascinating and timely conversation, given that Minneapolis’ franchise agreements with Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy expire in 2014. Susan was on the Boulder City Council from 2007-2009, and served as Mayor from 2009-2011. She also served as a planner in Boulder for decades.
The event is on Tuesday, September 18th, 8:00am, at the Red Stag Supper Club, 509 1st Avenue NE.
Last year, the people of Boulder took a major step towards democratic control of their energy options. They voted to authorize their city government to form a municipal power utility, provided that it could keep rates as low or lower than the incumbent utility, reliability as good or better, and make significant progress on clean energy and energy efficiency. Their incumbent utility was Xcel Energy, the same provider that has a monopoly on electricity in Minneapolis. Prior to this successful municipalization campaign, Xcel had taken some actions in Colorado similar to its recent attempt to do away with the Solar Rewards program.
I will be interested to hear the reasons Boulder took this step, how the ballot initiative succeeded, and how Boulder's negotiations with Xcel are progressing.