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Anne Butterfield
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Anne Butterfield is a columnist for the Boulder Daily Camera, writing usually on local and statewide energy issues. Her column also appears in NewEnergyNews and a few sections here at HuffPost.

She lives the volunteer life, mostly as a board member for Clean Energy Action. A grassroots and educational group, CEA brought prestigious speakers to Boulder to address the opportunities of breaking off from its electricity supplier and pursue its own system for the sake of clean energy. This developing story is carefully watched from around the nation.

She's tackled gigs such as being a felony victim advocate at the local district attorney's office and building the sandstone patio labyrinth at St. John's Episcopal Church. Her life is also organized around her stepson (a renewable energy project developer), two gardens, 60 houseplants, two loverboy cats Winslow and Homer, and the memory of her heart-throb Chow mix named Maitai.

She is married to Sandy Butterfield, the CTO of Boulder Wind Power, who worked twenty-four years at the National Wind Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratories. Consequently, she spends time with Boulder's world class scientists as well as its legendary activists.

Entries by Anne Butterfield

Playing Ostrich to Climate, One Utility Reinvests in Coal -- And One Thing You Can Do About It

(2) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 5:40 PM

With the sharply decreasing costs of power from renewables like wind, solar and up-and-coming-batteries, a wide array of change makers in the utility field are stepping out boldly (see watershed examples below). Meanwhile here in Colorado one utility, that never tires of touting itself...

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For Energy Security, Bring a Gun to the Knife Fight

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 3:25 PM

For those who see September 11 as the "ground zero" date for thinking about national security, they can add the August 14, 2003, grid failure to their view. That was when the nefarious action of a tree branch falling on a power line cut power for 50 million people in...

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ALEC's Half-Century Contract on the Boulder Highway, US 36

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Have you ever wished to sign a 50 year contract?

Sounds like a major bummer. Even utilities seek contracts from city-clients that last only 20 years, although their finance projections for their coal plants can go 60 years. Fifty years, 60 years, 20 years, they all last longer than...

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Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 4:59 PM

Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well...

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Solar for Me but Not for Thee: Xcel's Plan to Undermine Rooftop Solar

(32) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 4:44 PM

An eye-popping announcement came last week from Colorado's largest utility, Xcel Energy. It plans to install 170 megawatts of utility scale solar plus 450 MW of new wind power, and contract for 317MW of gas capacity to balance the renewables, plus the aim to retire one small coal...

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Boulder's Quest to Municipalize -- From Independence Day to the Next Election

(8) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 5:23 PM

"Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... I ask, 'What is real?' Because we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms." -- Philip K. Dick

...
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Paddle Perfect With Romantic Hikes: The Calanques of Provence

(4) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 5:38 PM

A bike trip in the south of France was our ideal for years: I had lived in France as a teen and kept some command of the language while my husband could do anything with bikes. Then, with the passing of our magic dog Maitai (her eulogy here)...

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Grappling With the Water-Energy Nexus, Arid America Should Trim Fracking and Increase Renewables

(9) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Punxsutauney Phil has signaled more winter ahead and it's faint comfort for those who are too familiar with evacuating for wildfire, as this year's winter is certainly not moist enough to keep that threat much at bay, and there's the chance that this summer will be an appalling scorcher.
...

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Interview: Bill McKibben on Divestment From Fossil Fuels

(1) Comments | Posted November 29, 2012 | 11:10 AM

With 350.org, Bill McKibben is roaming the nation's campuses in their "Do The Math" tour, promoting an anti-apartheid style divestment campaign targeting fossil fuel companies. Exploring this decision, McKibben consulted with Desmond Tutu and other South Africans steeped in the divestment movement; however, in the end, the big...

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Who Cares What Romney Says (Now) About Abortion?

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 9:20 AM

There seems to be confusion about whether a Romney administration would run, not walk, to sharply limit women's reproductive choices, due to former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman telling people at a Republican Jewish Coalition in Ohio that Romney has no intent of overturning Roe vs Wade. Advocacy was needed here...

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Be Heard on Keystone XL Pipeline Today

(3) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 2:47 PM

It's beyond clear to us now that the world is warming in increasingly dangerous ways. Just two of many examples: just after the huge "derecho" storm pillaged a path from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and the Colorado wildfires were at their destructive apex, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

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A True Foo Dog From Colorado to the Coast of Maine -- Maitai Queen of Hearts

(2) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 6:00 PM

Perhaps a few times you've met a soul in fur and paws who draws you close with tractor beams right off -- but you don't often get to take her home. I am writing to tell you about a dog my husband Sandy and I saw at the

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Xcel Shrinking Your Money Like Alice in Wonderland

(2) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 6:49 PM

A math expert named Dr. Andy Bardwell sometimes helps Boulder's "utility watch dog" Leslie Glustrom to plumb the cost analyses in Xcel Energy's filings. In that effort he came to detect that future fuel costs seem to be discounted. In tackling Xcel's new Electric Resource Plan (ERP) for...

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Colorado's Elegant Solution for Fracking

(8) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 12:29 PM

Eventually those local moratoriums against fracking will expire in Boulder, Longmont and Erie. And residents will worry anew about toxic fracking operations inching up on schools and neighborhoods in pursuit of a product that goes "poof" the instant it's used. Nice value -- not.

And it's timely that the University...

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Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble

(18) Comments | Posted March 13, 2012 | 4:15 PM

Fracking for natural gas is on Coloradans' minds. From landholders to policy makers, it's a pig pile of attention on the environmental effects, which are bad enough when real -- roads ruined by heavy trucks carting waste water, and waste water voided from the hydrologic cycle when stored in disposal...

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The Republican Clown Car Circus

(6) Comments | Posted January 9, 2012 | 12:12 PM

As backdrop to the Republican presidential primaries a doltish brawl has been erupting among GOP factions. And it's not just the philanderers and extremists who've been dubbed the clowns; it's also the right-wing media who've gone plumb too far in 2011.

The Wall Street Journal tossed a pot of

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Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game

(7) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 10:23 AM

The people of Boulder won. The final vote tallies for 2B and 2C -- the two measures empowering the city of Boulder to delve further and perhaps finally into buying the electric delivery system from Xcel Energy and setting up a utility -- are in, and their slim winning margins...

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Occupy, Xcel, And the Mother of All Cliffs

(21) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 4:26 PM

While the nation salivates -- or trembles -- at the thought of how the Occupy Wall Street movement will affect elections for years to come (and bankers on Wall Street are already furious that Democratic politicians have murmured sweet support for the Occupy movement), an Occupy-style ballot initiative is being...

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Lamborn's Anti-Energy Boondoggle and Republican Failure to Grasp Renewable Energy

(14) Comments | Posted June 20, 2011 | 2:59 PM

Congressman Anthony Weiner is the most recent politician to tweet himself down the political toilet with photos that are tacky and gross. But for mind-boggling inappropriateness, Weiner's spree was topped by a fully naked toot of political pandering on behalf of fossil fuels.

And it was done...

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Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation

(11) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 2:07 PM

The city of Boulder is on the way to creating a new, clean energy future in a process that may mean breaking away from Xcel Energy and creating its own municipal utility. Conversely, Boulder could consider partnership with Xcel in a plan created by the utility to help the city...

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