Could Nevada County Democratize, Decentralize, Decarbonize?

Clif Harald, Boulder Economic Council, will be participating in the ERC Panel Discussion, at the Second Annual Economic Summit on how, Bend, Asheville, Austin and Boulder transformed their cities.  I was watching a TED Talk on Civic Power on Friday morning and learned from the presentation that Boulder CO is planning to shed its corporate power company and create its own power. This transformative action was approved by voters on a 2011 ballot measure.

From the Boulder Colorado City Website:

In response to input from Boulder residents and businesses regarding Boulder’s energy future, the city adopted an “energy localization framework” defined by three primary goals:

Democratize Energy Decision Making: Boulder customers should have more direct control and involvement in decisions about their energy, including opportunities to invest in their long-term energy needs and to have a say in energy investments made on their behalf.

Decentralize Energy Generation and Management: energy should be generated locally or within the region to the maximum extent feasible, reducing reliance on external fuel sources; customers should be able to manage and reduce their energy use as directly and effectively as possible; and energy service companies should be empowered to compete and innovate within a diverse and robust local energy economy.

Decarbonize the Energy Supply: renewable and clean fuel sources should be maximized as much as possible, as quickly as possible, minimizing both short- and long-term environmental impacts and maximizing energy independence over time.

Within this framework the project team identified, and council approved, six goal areas for a potential local electric utility. It should:

  • Ensure a stable, safe and reliable energy supply
  • Ensure competitive rates, balancing short-term and long-term interests
  • Significantly reduce carbon emissions and pollutants
  • Provide energy customers with a greater say about their energy supply
  • Promote local economic vitality
  • Promote social and environmental justice

This will be one significant transformation, to have local control over power generation.  Would Nevada County officials consider should an innovative transformation if voters put it on the ballot?  This is bold thinking, and in my opinion is beyond the kind of futuristic planning we have ever experienced in Nevada County. We are stuck with PG&E and the CARB forced rate hikes forever and beyond at they attempt to control the climate by taxing energy use. Mother Nature could give a damn about CARB’s taxes, she controls the natural cycles.  It is those ongoing rate hikes that makes California and Nevada County a poor place to start a business or for that matter move one to the County.  CARB is forcing up transportation costs with fuel price hikes and manufacturing cost by forcing up electricity rates. 

Do you think that Nevada County could democratize, decentralize, decarbonize?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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1 Response to Could Nevada County Democratize, Decentralize, Decarbonize?

  1. jeffpelline says:

    No, it couldn’t. And it won’t. Have a great weekend!


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