The Chamber, a Con, a Watermelon Farmer – and Bad Math

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The US Chamber is out today with their latest schlep for Captain Cory…using the very same math our favorite watermelon farmer used last Spring when the Wray Republican's 'hair on fire' moment resulted in a blatantly false tweet concerning the Wray School District.  As anyone who travels to Wray would know, the wind turbine that stands as a sentinel to Wray's south gate is owned by the local school district. The turbine, the first school-owned, commercial scale installation in the state produces 100% of the school districts energy needs – and as an added bonus their excess production is sold to the City of Wray under a long-term contract.  In total, this community effort has stabilized the electricity rates in Wray – and given the contractual agreement between the city and the school, it would be impossible for the school's energy costs to rise a single penny; the sales of the excess production provide a new revenue stream for the district, a source of pride for the town and a hedge on future price increases of fossil-fuel generated electrons.

All of this because we invested in local, clean energy production. And this model of distributed energy production is the future.

But simple mathematical equations don't seem to slow down, nor interrupt, the (lack of) neuron activity of a devout Fossilonian.

Perhaps the Senator forgot that Wray's electricity provider, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, isn't subject to the obligations of Senate Bill 252.  Even if SB252 caused electricity prices to rise (it didn't and it won't), the Wray School District wouldn't be affected.  Perhaps he knew it all along. 

I'll let you form your own conclusions.

Today's launch of the latest false attack on Senator Udall's energy record is no surprise.  It's from the playbook.  What they don't want you to know is that Colorado residential electricity rates are 5 percent below the national average and commercial rates are 2.9 percent lower than the national average (thanks to the leadership of then-Congressman Udall in 2004).  What they don't want low-info voters in rural, eastern Colorado to know is that it was the leadership of Senator Udall that laid the foundation for the nearly $6 billion in wind projects that exist today – and today fills our rural county coffers with new tax revenue while simultaneously giving our urban counterparts some of the cheapest electricity in the nation.

A win-win for Coloradans.  Or as Brophy and Gardner might describel it, "A War on Rural Colorado".

They also don't want you to know that it is the fusion of our emerging wind and solar developments, already in place thanks to the Senator Udall's leadership, coupled with our state's natural gas reserves, that put our state on a preemptive trajectory (the Ritter 'Clean Air Clean Jobs Act), lowering our Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory and putting us already in near-compliance with the proposed EPA Clean Power Plan.  It's because of the actions of the visionary political leadership of this state , including Senator Udall, that brings us this bounty and the nation's second-most aggressive RPS (30% by 2020)

Good public policy matters – and Senator Udall has been on the right side of energy policy for as long as I've known him. 

The one thing that is true about the ad is the one thing where both the Chamber and the Senator have (some) common ground: Senator Udall is open to the permitting of KXL; the Chamber desperately wants it approved.  Ironically, it's that agreement that is likely to give us the one thing they want to warn you about: higher energy costs.

Colorado has been on the cutting edge of social change for a decade.  It's what we do.  And if you're an environmentalist frustrated with what you believe is too cozy a relationship between the Senator and the natural gas industry, please digest the totality of his contributions to where we are today before you think that under-voting or voting in protest will enhance our leadership.  I share your frustrations with many things going on in our state regulatory arena today – but choose your battles.  The chess game is underway.

Think twice before you cast a #QuidProKoch


9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gilpin Guy says:

    Thanks Michael.  I really enjoy your writing and thoughtful contributions to Pols.  I don't think it is bad math as much as lying and expecting people not to notice.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      GG – you're right.  It is nothng but lies and depection east of the 104th longitude.  By "Bad Math" I was insinuating the arithmetic I wrote about in this diary 🙂  I'm hopping across six time zones today with a couple of layovers so my posts today will look more like the two 'ippy's – drive-by, and then 'gone'. 

  2. Davie says:

    Thank you for this excellent diary, Michael.  Very useful information.  Too bad Cory knows or cares less about his own district than you do.

    Of course if KXL does pass with any Democratic votes, and rates go up as a result, it'll be the Republicans like Con man and Shorty that raise their voices loudest to blame Obama and the Democrats.

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    Superb piece, Michael. You're a major asset not only to Pols, but to the entire state of Colorado, which you clearly hold dear, and which owes you a debt of gratitude.

  4. DawnPatrol says:

    Oh yeah, and what Gilpin Guy and Davie said, in spades.

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    Meh. Typical Bowman diary. Informative. Well written. Entertaining. Reasoned. 

    ( . . . you got no future in modern politics, or in modern journalism that I can see . . .)




  6. dustpuppy says:

    I echo everyone else. If the Wray folks can see through the Republican lies, then they can vote for that Udall guy instead of the moron and vote D all the way through (kicking out more Republicans as well)


  7. mamajama55 says:

    Agree on the "Great Diary". I can tell it's readable, because I have all kinds of little tabs open, going back and forth from the referenced links to the article to follow your ideas.

    I'm a disgruntled environmentalist, but I'll vote for Udall – probably even campaign for him, as we're doing a "Vote up and down the ticket" thing here in Pueblo.

    And I agree – Udall's environmental record has been outstanding up to the point that he distanced himself from the anti-fracking ballot initiatives. It's the same gripe I have with Hickenlooper – they should have let the democratic process play out.  Udall's statement on this was more supportive of an actual compromise than the other lawmakers (including Hickenlooper) blatant embrace of the industry talking points (energy, 200K jobs, those radical tree huggers don't know squat, etc)

    There have been other "Wait, What?" Udall moments, when he has suddenly turned against Democratic orthodoxy – I think, for political advantage. In November 2013, Udall proposed extending the deadline for being able to keep one's existing health plan, which would have undermined the ACA. In retrospect, it was a silly thing to do, as it definitely has not insulated him from the constant "udallcare" attacks.

    As a legislator, Udall protected the Thompson Divide from drilling, and yes, he has led on the renewable energy standards, as well as conservation of our parks for many years. He's a solid progressive on other issues I care about, including raising the minimum wage, immigration, reproductive choice, and privacy rights. Choosing to vote between Udall vs. Gardner, it's not a choice between weevils, it's a real choice between progress or regression.

    Can't say the same for Hick, although he'll get the benefit of our "whole ticket" efforts, as well. I won't know how I'll vote for Governor until I see my ballot in front of me – or, of course, until I see how meaningful Hick's "blue ribbon commission" actually is, and if the concerns of fracked-up communities are being heard and acted upon….


  8. MichaelBowman says:

    I have a few more of these in the file…I'll dribble them out between now and Novemeber 🙂  Each of us are disgusted about more than one thing for sure, and the "Wait, what??!" moments are none-too-rare.

    Love what's going on in Alaska and Kansas with coalition politics…an idea whose time has come.  We're all anxiously awaiting the BRC – I hope they prove me wrong on their efficacy. 

    It's a new day and with it will bring a new con du jour.  Any bets on today's flavor?


Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.