Photo Credit: Colorado Springs Utilities
A few weeks ago, a Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) employee contacted Springs Taxpayers, to invite our readers to participate in their survey, which runs through May 3rd. While we appreciate that they want input from a good cross section of ratepayers, it appears they aren’t seeking a cross section of answers. Some of our supporters who took the survey told us that CSU makes assumptions about which renewables we want, as opposed to choosing between renewables and fossil fuels. In addition, there is no way to provide answers outside of the multiple-choice options provided by CSU.
Our readers have some ideas of their own and didn’t want to be pushed toward the answers CSU provided. CSU also made assumptions through their survey that ratepayers want to completely move away from the Martin Drake Power Plant, and toward options like solar, battery storage, wind, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, biogas, landfill gas, and other renewables. Last year, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed multiple Colorado energy bills that pertain to renewables.
We suspect the answers provided were based on the new legislative requirements. Still, this is Colorado Springs. It is not Boulder or Denver. We believe many Colorado Springs residents are open to keeping the Martin Drake Power plant open, as we paid $170,000,000 for scrubbers to help with air quality only a few years ago. Ratepayers must have the option to provide input outside of the multiple-choice answers provided, and to be able to add their comments to the survey. Here are the questions included in the survey. Take a glance at them before participating.
We heard from reader Rick, who wrote an email to CSU:
I just took CSU’s survey for the energy choices. I was rather disappointed that the “choices” we were given in the survey weren’t choices at all because there’s a large push towards a much heavier portfolio of “renewable” energy.
I believe that CSU’s current push for “renewable” energy is an enormous mistake. Here’s a link to a YouTube video that people in charge of these decisions should watch. The video, “Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet” show why it’s a very large waste of resources to head towards wind and solar energy when both sources of energy have drawbacks which exceed the amount of benefit which we receive from them. It makes so much more sense to use the coal fired plants that we, the Colorado Springs Utilities customers, have already invested millions of dollars in to scrub our emissions — especially as the price of coal plummets due to the increased emphasis on renewables.
For the future, CSU should be moving towards nuclear energy. This would be the truly best solution to our future energy needs. As the YouTube video notes, France is already getting over 71.6% of their energy needs provided by nuclear energy.
Here’s a short quote from a Forbes article about Germany — who has already gone the direction that CSU is proposing to lead Colorado Springs in:
“A new report by consulting giant McKinsey finds that Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transition to renewables, poses a significant threat to the nation’s economy and energy supply.”
One of Germany’s largest newspapers, Die Welt, summarized the findings of the McKinsey report in a single word: “disastrous.”
“Problems are manifesting in all three dimensions of the energy industry triangle: climate protection, the security of supply, and economic efficiency,” writes McKinsey.
In 2018, Germany produced 866 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a far cry from its goal of 750 million tons by 2020.
So, I’m hoping that it’ll be increasingly apparent that steering the Springs towards relying upon an unreliable energy source would be an enormous waste of time and resources. Thanks for your time in reading this.
We appreciate citizens like Rick who take the time to engage CSU, the Mayor, and City Council about these various issues. We also appreciate seeing the communications you have with your public servants.
We’re hoping for more involvement from our readers about this topic, as the only people CSU hears from are environmentalists and the developers, who look forward to shutting down the Martin Drake Power Plant, as they don’t like the way it looks in the downtown area. The survey questions about how much of a rate increase you would be willing to pay for alternative energy, are worth taking the survey and giving input. Every citizen needs to sit up and take notice of what’s coming our way. Many can’t afford a significant utility bill increase.
This survey is running through May 3rd. Click here to take the survey.
If you’d like to provide comments about the survey, contact Aram Benyamin, who is the CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, since the Colorado Springs City Council members comprise the board of CSU, please contact them as well.
You can draft your own comments, or feel free to customize these sentiments to fit your own feelings about the survey:
When I took the Energy Integrated Resource Plan survey, I was disappointed to see that I was not provided acceptable answers in the multiple-choice questions. Neither was there a space for me to provide that feedback. As a ratepayer, I request a new survey be conducted that doesn’t discount the fossil fuel options we currently use.
At SpringsTaxpayers.com, encourage active and engaged citizens. This issue will impact you and your family for years to come. We’ll keep watch for more information about this topic in the upcoming months. We’ll keep looking out for you, Colorado Springs.