Here's the letter we are going to send to Mayor Hancock. The date is TBA. Please read, and if you agree, please sign up and pass this along.
Dear Mayor Hancock,
Much has changed since Denver signed the 2006 Franchise Agreement with Xcel Energy, drafted its 2007 Climate Action Plan, and adopted its 2020 Sustainability Goals.
We now know that climate change is happening at a much faster pace than anticipated in the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration reported on May 10, 2013 that atmospheric CO2 levels have now exceeded 400 ppm, a point beyond which many scientists believe is the tipping point for climate as we have known it. We experience the effects of climate change in droughts, wildfires and superstorms. Ocean acidification from dissolved CO2 threatens marine life. These worsening environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels confirm that the time is now to chart the inevitable end of our use of fossil fuels.
Fortunately, the price of wind-driven electrical generation has been decreasing to a point where Xcel CEO, Ben Fowke, stated “Wind power is simply the most affordable energy resource right now”. And photo-voltaic generation has never been cheaper.
Article 11 of the Franchise Agreement between the City and County of Denver and Public Service Company of Colorado (Xcel) reads:
" . . . the Company shall continually monitor its operations to mitigate environmental impacts; shall seek to cost-effectively meet or exceed the requirements of environmental laws, regulations and permits; shall invest in cost effective environmentally-sound technologies; shall consider environmental issues in its planning decision-making; and shall support environmental research and development projects . . ."
We request that the City enforce this section of the agreement by beginning negotiations now with Xcel Energy to eliminate as many greenhouse gas emissions as possible through the accelerated deployment of cost-effective renewable energy. Assessments of cost-effectiveness should include externalities. We recommend that the city and Xcel complete negotiations, including goals and benchmarks, by 2016.
We recommend that you immediately issue a proclamation that states the goal of eliminating fossil fuels to the fullest possible extent by 2026.
We propose that resources be specifically allocated toward creating the City’s negotiating position, entering into negotiations with Xcel Energy and working with all pertinent entities to see the accomplishment of our goals.
Thank you for your leadership.
Jeff Neuman-Lee and Friends of Fossil Fuel Free Denver
Here are some printable materials that anyone may use to help others understand our problem.
We, all of us humans, are caught between a necessity and an impossibility. We know that we must stop using fossil fuels. But how? The political climate says that it is impossible. Compare the very real possibilities of the extent of climate destruction, and we see that almost all our most aggressive political leadership is simply tepid. Until we, each of us from our own places of responsibility, act to do what we each can do, our situation is bleak. Already the storm is upon us. But in this case, if we act, it may not be so bleak for our children.
What do we do?
1. We get informed. And keep informed. And see the need.
2. We meet so that we might learn from each other and work together.
3. We talk with people, personally, frankly and with respect.
4. We target important changes that can be made with the help of our influence and we support the implementation of that change.
Who are we?
We are all volunteers with a variety of backgrounds and skills.
We have a strong steering committee with open meetings.
We have other, more local meetings for planning of our conversations.
We are proud to live in Denver, a city that is already leading, with leadership that is creative and forward thinking.
The FossilFuelFreeDenver.org web site is supported in part by the Loretto Earth Network. We thank them for their generosity.