Preventing MEAN from greenwashing the system
Gunnison, Glenwood Springs and Aspen have one thing in common — their respective municipal electrical departments have inked deals with their wholesale electrical supplier, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), to be “supplied” with up to 100% wind power to make these municipalities electrical portfolio ostensibly 100% renewable.
The issue here is that 54% of the electrons that these municipalities receive are generated from coal that passes into their respective substation and local grid. MEAN has a “Renewable Energy Pool” of wind power that is 11% of their energy portfolio.
MEAN, a Nebraska government agency, located in Lincoln, supplies electricity to 42 Nebraska municipalities, 14 in Colorado, 10 in Iowa and two in Wyoming. The state of Nebraska has no renewable energy portfolio legislation, no energy efficiency standards and most importantly, no climate change mitigation policies. The University of Nebraska said it would do a dlimate action plan for the state if the legislature would fund the project with $250,000. The legislature declined to fund the plan.
In the state of Colorado, we have a renewable energy portfolio standard (100% by 2050 and a road map to get there). The Public Utilities Commission, and the legislature have pressured the state’s utilities to close coal fired power plants, with the City of Colorado Springs, Tri-State and Blackhills Energy closing all of their Colorado coal plants by 2030 — many shuttered well ahead of this time. Xcel Energy is closing most of its coal plants by 2030.
Coloradans expect clean energy from less expensive renewables in the future, and care about impacts of climate change. Most of the MEAN municipalities in Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming have no positive thinking on climate mitigation or preparation.
Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Gunnison municipal electrical systems claim they are now 100% renewable, even though 54% of their electrons from MEAN are dirty and coal fired. These communities have allowed MEAN to greenwash their respective systems.
MEAN is now taking comments on its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which is supposed to be MEAN’s public roadmap to its future generation mix, but little mapping is shown. Today 54% of the portfolio is coal, and in 2038 coal is still the majority of generation. Yet by 2050 they project that the utility will be 100% renewable with no clue as to how they will get there after 2038.
In fact, the IRP shows that from 2024-2027 there will be a load deficit of 27%, but MEAN fails to enlighten ratepayers as to what resources they will buy to keep the system whole. Many think that MEAN will buy into a natural gas fired power plant with other partners, which will bring the resource mix to 75% fossil fuel, if built.
How well will the “Renewable Energy Pool” greenwashing hold up to a 75% fossil mix sent to Gunnison, Aspen and Glenwood Springs grids? Hopefully the city councils, staff and ratepayers will come to their senses on their greenwashing and start to push back on this ethical dilemma. Aspen (2017) and Gunnison (2020) have climate action plans that require 100% renewable electricity supplies by 2021 and 2024 respectively. Glenwood has no discernible climate action plan.
I would ask the residents and ratepayers of these three Colorado towns if they are comfortable having either 50% or 75% of their electricity from MEAN consisting of dirty energy? If not, they should tell their respective councils and staff that electrical supplies are only renewable if the supplying utility’s portfolio is 100% renewable energy.
‘If you are against abortion, don’t have one’
The outrage I feel upon learning of the imminence of this attack on Roe v. Wade rocks me to the core of my being. Other people, strangers, religious radicals and people who are not medical providers want to tell me what to do with my body, my health and my future.
They want to make critical medical decisions for me. Really? After two years of hearing “it’s a personal choice” about whether or not to wear a mask to try and prevent a potentially deadly, highly contagious disease, people are trying to tell me and my daughter that we don’t get to make personal decisions about our health? It sounds to me like they are telling us that we are less than human. I don’t think they want to go there.
My husband and I have been married for 27 years and I have had an incurable, disabling illness for 20 of those years. This disease strikes at random with devastating effects, leaving me more and more disabled, potentially unable to care for myself and could even kill me suddenly.
This is why I have diligently prevented another pregnancy in spite of having the will and the means to have another child. The idea that anyone would only have an abortion out of convenience is preposterous — it’s a surgery, and any surgery is risky.
For me, a pregnancy has high potential to cause a deadly brain hemorrhage, make it impossible to intervene to save my life, or leave me unable to care for myself and my family. We decided another pregnancy would be too risky, and I wanted to do everything in my power to be alive and be healthy for my family. I am so thankful that I have never had to make the agonizing decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy like others have had to do.
My mother died of cancer when I was 24, and my father died of cancer as well when I was 31. Losing my mother, even as a young adult, was devastating. She was gone before my college graduation, before my wedding and before the birth of my child. Both of my parents were gone before my disease presented itself, and we had to endure the terror of high-risk brain surgeries, complications and significant permanent disability without their support.
Our child has never known her grandparents, yet feels their loss nonetheless. This is why we all have to protect this fundamental right to make our own decisions and determine our futures as best we can. Would you want to have to explain to my daughter why she can’t have her mother at her graduation, her wedding, the birth of her children or explain to my husband that he has to parent alone now and the future he hoped for with me is gone because some extremist stranger thought that’s how it should be?
Then don’t think for one second that you, or anyone else can or should make any of my medical decisions for me. My family, my medical provider and I will make those decisions, and it’s none of your business. If you are against abortion, then don’t have one.
Who gets to legislate our speech?
There is a proposal afoot to cancel disinformation. Proposed by the current administration, the Disinformation Governance Board, also known as the “Ministry of Truth,” is being led by Nina Jankowicz.
It sounds good on the surface because liars have been around as long as humanity has been around. It could be that a person lies intentionally, or that they are sincere in their beliefs when repeating a lie they have listened to. We are, after all, like sheep. Sound familiar in the past two years? This is a Trojan horse of epic proportions.
Last year we attended a branding in Saguache, Colorado. My daughter was posting photos from the event, and mentioned that we were branding, castrating and vaccinating the calves.
The post was intercepted by our government, or big tech and attached to our daughter’s Facebook post that advised “For correct information about vaccines,” go to www.vaccines.gov. We were vaccinating calves. I find that very alarming. If I thought the vaccine mandates were the biggest crime ever perpetrated against all of humanity, the Ministry of Truth will eclipse that by far.
So who is going to determine what is disinformation? The speech police? You could ask the people of China, North Korea or Russia about that, but they would be afraid to tell you. Family members reported family members during Hitler’s reign of terror. Hitler even had a Minister of Propaganda named Joseph Goebbels. This sounds a lot like that.
Half of this country believes the other half is spreading disinformation. We can’t both be right. So who gets to legislate our speech? This nation was founded on checks and balances. We are each other’s checks and balances by having free speech. Take that away, and you have a dictatorship.
Like most of the laws that get voted in, expert writers and clever television and media ads make the proposal sound like a great idea. But you better start viewing these proposals about our freedom of speech as sinister, because that’s exactly what they are. Some people will only like you if you agree with them. These are the people who want to stifle your speech.
I have a question. How is it that we have our first foreign-born first lady, who is drop dead gorgeous, and no one does a story about her or graces a magazine cover with her face? It is very telling about who in our society wants to police our truths and classify them as disinformation. We need to wake up to the Pied Pipers of this age and stop being politically correct.
Thanks for a successful 100-year-anniversary award dinner
The Rotary Club of Gunnison would like to thank all of the table sponsors, donors, attendees, steering committee, auction bidders and the Times for their help in making our 100-year-anniversary award dinner a success.
We would like to acknowledge our generous auction donors: The Dive, Ace Hardware, Gunnison Family Dentistry, Turquoise Junction and Gun Room (Tierney Miller painting), Dos Rios Golf Club, I Bar, Elevation Hotel, GCEA as well as Rick and Patty Jagger.
The commemoration also included honoring Dick Bratton with the Hal Yale Service Above Self Award, and Grecia Santos Garcia as the Student Service Above Self Award Winner. We thank them for their service to our community.
Why is the governor going to the great expense?
Governor Polis and his supporters have decided to issue each tax paying Coloradan a check shortly before the next election. This seems to be only part of the TABOR refund due those same tax payers. Why is the governor going to the great expense (of those same tax payers money) of printing and mailing this distribution when another distribution will be necessary at a later (though not by much) date?
One wonders why. It does seem fiscally irresponsible, so there must be a solid reason. The election comes to mind.
Let’s keep qualified teachers in our classrooms
There is no doubt we have a real crisis that must be addressed. Colorado is ranked near the bottom in school funding, and our teacher’s wages are the least competitive in the entire country. It is not surprising that many of our teachers will not be returning this fall, and some are leaving the teaching profession altogether.
Staffing has been particularly challenging for our schools, and for most businesses. However, unlike a business that can raise wages to attract or retain their staff and raise their prices to cover the increases, schools do not have that luxury. There is a fixed funding amount they must work within.
We have an opportunity now to help our teachers and student support professionals by signing the petition to get Initiative 63 on the 2022 November ballot.
Initiative 63 is very straightforward. Without raising tax rates, it will place one-third of 1% of income taxes directly into the State Education Fund to be used for the purpose of “attracting, retaining and compensating teachers and student support professionals.”
To get more information or to see how you can help go to www.greatedaction.org.
Petitions are available in Crested Butte at Townie Books/Kelly Jo Clark or in Gunnison at the office of Jennifer Barvitski on Main Street. You may also call or email me to discuss. Let’s keep qualified teachers in our classrooms, and qualified support staff for our students.