Originally published at ilsr.org.
When this local activist saw that his community wanted a better, more renewable future, he took action, and now he’s doing the same work in the Colorado State Senate.
This week’s episode of the Building Local Power podcast features a great conversation between the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell and Colorado State Senator Steve Fenberg. Fenberg, the former executive director of New Era Colorado, joins Farrell to discuss the status of local control and renewable energy in the Centennial State.
The conversation focuses on Boulder’s continuing march toward municipalization for reasons that will save citizens money and integrate a higher percentage of renewable energy. They also tackle the growth of lobbying efforts by massive utilities and what that means for concerned citizens across America.
“It’s about saying people want a cleaner energy future,” argues Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder). “Technology has caught up to the point where technologies are out there that can get us there much faster than the path we’re currently on. There shouldn’t be these regulatory barriers to keeping individuals, as well as communities, from being able to use these technologies and new opportunities to have more control over their energy future.“
View a full transcript of the conversation here.
- Mergers and Monopoly: How Concentration Changes the Electricity Business — This policy brief from our Energy Democracy initiative research team details the consolidation rampant in our electricity industry. It also runs through how these utilities leverage their growing economic power into political power.
- Boulder Voters Say (Again): “We’ll Lead Movement to Energy Democracy” — On Election Day 2017, Measure 2L had passed with 51.7% of the vote, keeping Boulder on course to make history as first city to municipalize its electric company in years –, and the only one ever to do it specifically to advance clean, local power. This run down details what that means for this community moving forward.
- Beating the Monopolies: Barry Lynn Explains How We Will Win — Episode 30 of the Building Local Power Podcast — This podcast episode with the Open Markets Institute’s Barry Lynn discusses how we got to here in our monopoly economy and how he has hope that we will win against the monopolists who are robbing our political economy.
- How Can Communities Leverage a Better Energy Future? – Episode 17 of Local Energy Rules Podcast —This 2014 interview hosted by John Farrell with then-activist Steve Fenberg detailed the work of his organization, New Era Colorado, in promoting Boulder’s move to municipalize their electric utility to gain better local control.
- Colorado State Senator Steve Fenberg’s Current Legislation & Priorities — From his time as an activist to now in the Colorado State Senate, Steve Fenberg is looking to ensure more communities have the ability to enable their own local control. Read Fenberg’s stance on issues at his website.
Reading & Exploring Recommendations:
Our guest recommended the following items:
- This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
- “Power Failure: How utilities across the U.S. changed the rules to make big bets with your money” by Tony Bartelme, Charleston Post and Courier
- Senator Fenberg also recommends to take a break from the news every once in a while so you can read something fun! So, your humble podcast producer recommends the book The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson, which is a an extremely fun and informative book on a pinchy delicacy.
View the full transcript of the podcast, below. If you missed our previous episodes make sure to bookmark our Building Local Power Podcast Homepage. Please give us a review and rating on iTunes or wherever you subscribe to podcasts.