Can’t We Get A Restraining Order Against Xcel Already?

  • Published on July 1st, 2014

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By Chip Martin, Special to RGB

In the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction, Glen Close’s delightfully insane stalker character Alex Forrest famously proclaimed to her victim Dan (Michael Douglass), “I WILL NOT BE IGNORED, DAN!”

Alex, you have nothing on Xcel Energy.

You remember Xcel Energy, right? That charming Minneapolis company that is suing city council members and trying to destroy net-metering in Colorado in a vain attempt to maintain its monopoly stranglehold on power production in the state?

And no matter how many times Coloradans break up with it, tell it the relationship is over and change the locks, Xcel keeps boiling bunnies and holding the citizens hostage, all the while screaming at the top of its lungs, “I KNOW you still love me!”

Coloradans might not be able to ignore this sociopathic corporation right now, but the writing is on the wall. In the near future —and it’s probably nearer than even the most devoted solar advocates believe — I wouldn’t be surprised if the citizens of the Centennial State decide to slap a full electoral restraining order on the company that will keep it away from their electrical meters.

The citizens of Boulder have already done it twice. Despite Xcel’s heavy spending in support of two municipal referenda to halt the city’s launch of a municipal utility, both measures failed miserably (in other news, water is wet, and the Pope is Catholic).

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Boulder 2, Xcel Energy, 0.

As I’ve written about before, Xcel took their fight up a notch in early June, filing a lawsuit in Boulder District Court to block the town’s municipalization plan, which was approved by the city council unanimously on May 6.

Last Thursday, Boulder officially responded to the lawsuit, in effect telling Xcel to go pound salt.

Alex Burness, another dogged reporter at The Daily Camera (which has done great work on this storywell done), wrote (the snarky translations of the legal jargon in italics are mine —send me all the hate mail, not poor Alex): 

In its formal request to have the suit dismissed, Boulder stated that many of Xcel’s allegations are “arguments or statements of different opinions rather than facts,” which the city deems “improper.”

(Xcel is making stuff up.)

Boulder also maintains that Xcel has failed to prove its May 6 move to pursue municipalization is unconstitutional.

(Your so-called “evidence”is so thin a myopic six-year old could see through it.)

The city goes on to state that any challenge to the August vote needed to be brought within 28 days of the decision.

(Don’t you have anyone in your office that can count to 28?)

“Thus,” the motion reads, “to the extent that the Plaintiff seeks to challenge the final decision that the Charter prerequisites had been met, that claim must be dismissed because it is untimely and therefore this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over such a claim.”

(Xcel, for the love of God, stop embarrassing yourself. It’s. Over. Between Us.)

Anyone else foresee Xcel going 0-3 in trying to circumvent the (small d) democratic process of Boulder? Yeah, I thought you would.

Coloradans are in the process of separating themselves from its toxic relationship with Xcel Energy. And once the court throws out the company’s frivolous lawsuit, the citizens should end it completely.

(If you don’t believe me that they are on their way to electricity freedom, check out a group called Coloradans for Electricity Choices (CEC), a grassroots organization that provides important information about when communities are eligible to get their electricity choices back from the regulated monopoly utility. Take that, Xcel.)

I would urge Coloradans to put a net metering initiative on the ballot and pass it with overwhelming support. Xcel must know it’s only a matter of time.

In the original ending of Fatal Attraction (not seen in theaters), Alex slashes her own throat in an attempt to frame Dan for her murder. Sadly, I see Xcel Energy headed down that same self-destructive path.

Maybe it can find the help it needs to avoid a similar fate.

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