The Daily Camera asked each candidate for their opinion on the City's Climate Action Plan. Below is my grade of their answers.
My answers are predicated upon the economic consensus that the most effective approach is to tax carbon emissions and oil usage. However, I'm not sure any candidate can win in Boulder on that platform as the environmental group endorsements tend to select the winners and those groups generally prefer mandated actions over market pricing.
Matthew Applebaum D+ : Matt definitely takes the "we will force all of you to do these specific things" approach. Under that approach all of Matt's point are good, but the sum total is a significant intrusion into every building in the city (but no vehicles).
Philip Bradley B+ : A decent market oriented approach with the tax credit. And he keeps it simple which is also commendable.
Seth Brigham A- : Seth's comments are not a model of clarity but I think what he is proposing is people & companies (including the city government) are taxed based on their carbon emissions. Good answer.
Shawn Coleman C- : Shawn gets the Joe Biden award for his loooooooong answer. And all he does is review the existing plan and discusses issues with it's implementation. So his answer on the existing plan is "we don't know yet" which is reasonable, but could have been said in 1 paragraph.
Macon Cowles B : Gives a clear answer (and in his first sentence!). And sees the big picture which is the next step is vehicles as the CAP addresses buildings. I wish he had addressed how to go about addressing vehicles which is a harder problem as they enter and leave Boulder (unlike buildings).
Angelique Espinoza C+ : Another clear answer and also sees it as successful so far. But her sole "next step" is education & outreach.
Crystal Gray D- : Basically doesn't say anything - but takes 3 paragraphs to do so (or is it not do so?).
Andrew Harrison F- : no answer.
Philip Hernandez F+ : Philip gets an A for honesty. But this is a big issue with significant impact on all residents so we need council members who are reasonably knowledgeable on this subject.
Nabil Karkamaz F- : no answer.
Kathy Kramer D+ : An interesting answer where Kathy discusses how she has lots of background on this subject, but that's it - no specifics, no next steps, just that we need to solve this.
Update: Kathy ask below why the lower grade this time. Because in comparison to many other responses this time I felt hers was greatly lacking in specifics.
Adam Massey F- : no answer.
Lisa Morzel F- : no answer.
Alan O'Hashi C- : Alan's answer is a bit more vague than Matt's but is basically the same thing - except he goes for strongly incent over require. But it will be the city determining what everyone should do.
Susan Osborne B+ : Good answer that it is too soon to tell if it is having an effect. And ditto for the next step being to improve the efficiency of some public buildings as examples.
Eugene Pearson C : Doesn't really say anything other than increase marketing and help low income homeowners.
Susan Peterson F : WTF? This is not cheerleading tryouts.
Larry Quilling A : Impressive answer. Hits traffic improvement and the coal plant both of which are major. And seeing if the City could get volume discounts for homeowners buying solar panels, etc is a market-driven win/win possibility.
Tom Riley A : Tom is the runner-up for the Joe Biden award on this topic. But lots of good specific ideas. And sensible approaches in almost all cases.
Eric Rutherford C+ : A bunch of empty platitudes. The one positive is he does prefer incentives over government mandates. But who knows for sure where that leads with him as there are no specifics.
Rob Smoke D : Basically Rob says we're destined to fail. And then proposes the city fully subsidize one specific type of non-carbon electricity generation (solar) rather than having the market determine what approach works best.
Ken Wilson C : Another set of empty platitudes. No idea of where he wants to go next other than have the city use more renewable energy.
City of Boulder F- : This past winter I was going into a gas station and parked out front was a city vehicle. It was very cold out and the truck had the engine on, both windows open, and the heat blasting. No one was in it. I went in, bought some food, and when I left it was still sitting there. I have no idea how long they left it like that. I emailed the city manager but got no response. Boulder, reducing carbon emissions and oil consumption begins at home.
ps - I know politically it's impossible here but I was disappointed to see none supported nuclear power which is our only medium-term alternative to coal & oil.