An open letter to the Colorado Springs Utilities board members:

As local business leaders committed to the growth and success of our Colorado Springs community, we support an accelerated timeline for decommissioning of the Martin Drake Power Plant. We urge board members to approve closure of both remaining units prior to 2023 as an essential step to revitalize sustainable business growth in downtown Colorado Springs, strengthen our local economy, and improve quality of life in our community for the benefit of current and future residents.

As the modernization of our energy sector accelerates by the day, well-planned transition from coal-fired power to renewable wind, solar and efficiency resources promises benefits to our entire community. Economic impacts to consider as part of an accelerated decommissioning timeline include: more affordable and less volatile electricity rates from renewable energy; attractiveness to new businesses and downtown investment; tourism impacts of having the Drake Power Plant tower over the new Olympic Museum and new Cimarron/I-25 gateway; reduced downtown freight rail traffic with the potential to reintroduce passenger rail to Denver; and Colorado Springs job creation in the clean energy sector that dwarfs coal employment. The dirty, polluting Martin Drake Power Plant in downtown Colorado Springs directly conflicts with our city’s efforts to develop a robust and sustainable clean energy economy that protects our public health and environmental resources.

With solar and wind technology becoming more cost-competitive and affordable every day, Colorado Springs Utilities lacks a compelling reason to continue operating Martin Drake, which is stifling the growth of downtown Colorado Springs. For the sake of our local economy we ask that you join us in our efforts to secure an early retirement of Martin Drake by 2023.

Signed,

Christopher Fagnant, President, Qualtek Manufacturing Inc

- Advertisement -

Judi Ellias Ochs, Owner, Metalmamas Ironworks

Mark Richardson, CGMP, Director of Sales & Catering, The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel

Renee Moorefield, CEO, Wisdom Works Group Inc.

Nicole Odell, Head Coach/Owner, NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness

Jason Doedderlein, Founder, Betr

Mike Pach, Owner, 3 Peaks Photography

Davin Neubacher,CEO, Navakai Inc.

Kristin Heggem, Senior Landscape Architect, Altitude Land Consultants

Laurie Wilson, Co-partner, Steve Weed Fine Art

Wylene Carol, Board member, Downtown BID

Steve Weed, Owner, Steve Weed Fine Art

Brooke Mikulas, COO, Kinship Landing

Robert W. Mikulas, Committed Citizen, Founder and CEO, Kinship Landing Ltd

Michelle Hair, Glass Artist

Zach McComsey, CEO, Legacy Institute

Jenn Cancellier, Event Coordinator, Colorado Springs Business Journal

Colin Christie, Director of Advertising, 365 Grand Properties

Aileen Berrios, Market President, Herring Bank

John Crandall, Owner, Old Town Bike shop

Heather Powell Browne, Assistant Director of Off-Campus Study, Colorado College

Nolan Schriner, NES Inc.

Lisa Tormoen Hickey, Attorney, Tormoen Hickey LLC

Kim Polomka, Downtown Muralist

Julie Webster, Zero Fox Given

Jill Robinson, CEO, TRG Arts

BJ Scott, Co-Founder, Innovations in Aging Collaborative

Amanda M. Luciano, Realtor, Red Rock Realty

Sean Holveck, Owner, Holveck Designs/Catalyst Creative

Nicholas Lee, Vice President, Lee Spirits Co.

Dan Robertson, President, The Robertson Co.

Deirdre Aden-Smith, Vice President, Equity Group LLC

Tatiana Bailey, Executive Director, UCCS Economic Forum

Jenny Schell, President/Co-owner, Design Rangers

Chris Schell, Vice-President/Co-owner, Design Rangers

Siri A. Everett, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Therapist, Springs Speech & Language

Mike Callicrate, Owner, Callicrate Beef

Dave Anderson, Manager, Good Food Concepts LLC

Scott Harvey, Professional Engineer, Art of Engineering

Leslie Weise, Principal, Weise Consulting

Lotus, President, Rocky Mountain Solar & Wind

Sherry SmithFaler, Owner, Skin Evolution Tattoo

Maggie Turner, Realtor, Springs Homes

Mary and James Ciletti, Owners, Hooked on Books