To the Editor:
This week, citizens of Colorado Springs have a chance to influence a decision that will affect the public health and carbon footprint of our community. On June 26, Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) will decide where we will get our energy from for the next 30 years.
A recent article published by the Colorado Springs Independent explained that a plan to retire the Drake and Nixon coal plants by 2023 and 2030, respectively, was recommended to CSU by the Utilities Public Advisory Committee. However, this plan (Portfolio #16) would also build a natural gas facility, polluting and costing ratepayers more than renewable energy.
The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign details that a gas plant would leave Colorado Springs with more fossil fuels in 2030 than in 2020, and would barely be used for us to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions in the next decade. Polluting facilities are also consistently sited in low-income communities of color, and nothing indicates this would be different.
Without removing fossil fuels from our community, threats to our health like respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and cancer cannot be eliminated, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Portfolio #17 is also being considered and recommends replacing Drake and Nixon with clean technology like battery storage, wind, and solar. This would allow Colorado Springs to move into the future less controlled by the energy market and bettering the planet for future generations.
Contact your representatives on City Council this week to let them know that Portfolio #17 is the best choice for our city.
Tova Salzinger, for Environment Colorado