Catalyst Audio | Audio-documentary | Released Feb. 22, 2019
Uncertainty hangs in the air above downtown Colorado Springs. Cheap coal burned by the Martin Drake Power Plant has kept local electricity rates well below the national average for decades. But in 2015, concerns about harmful emissions prompted the city council to agree to shut down the plant by 2035. Environmentalists who say this is too long to wait are trying to speed up the closure timeline by as much as 10 years. Meanwhile, the plant’s advocates are standing firm.
In this week’s audio release, editor/producer Jesse Metzger visits the site of the power plant with a young environmental activist and sits down with two members of the city council who have starkly opposing visions for the city’s energy future. While their ongoing debate engages the quintessential conflict between economy and environment, it also presents deeper questions about Colorado Springs’ evolving identity – and whose values will shape it in the years to come.
Cover photo by Sam Wang; Soundcloud lead photo by Nick Penzel