Xcel Has More Faces Than Eve
By Chip Martin, Special to RGB
In 1957, 20th Century Fox produced a movie called The Three Faces of Eve, starring Joanne Woodward as Eve White, a woman suffering from dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) who has three distinct personalities — the timid wife, the party girl and the stable woman she wants to become.
It’s a classic (Joanne Woodward won an Academy Award for her searing performance of the three distinct personalities). If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. As a bonus, it might help you understand what the hell is going on this week in Xcel Energy’s ongoing scorched-earth campaign to destroy net metering in Colorado. They’re already two-thirds of the way to Eve, with far more sinister consequences for the citizens of the state.
I’ve written about Xcel numerous times before (here, here and here) and their perverse battle against the solar industry, particularly on the subject of net metering. In fact, the rapacious corporation wants to roll back Colorado’s successful net metering policy, which gives solar customers full, fair credit for the surplus energy they provide to the grid. Why? They have no legitimate reason — the bottom line is they want to squash competition to protect their monopoly.
But a mere seven years ago, Xcel was all about net metering. At the time, The Denver Post’s Steve Raabe wrote an article talking about how Xcel executives were falling all over themselves praising net metering.
(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT FROM THAT ARTICLE WILL GIVE YOU AN INSTANT MIGRAINE AND MAY CAUSE THE INSTANTANEOUS DEATH OF SCORES OF INNOCENT BRAIN CELLS — italics mine):
Yet Xcel officials maintain that all customers benefit [from net-metering] because solar systems delay the need to build expensive power plants and reduce prospective future taxes on carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power.
So try and wrap your head around that for a moment (I know it’s hard because, well, logic): In 2007, net metering was good for “all customers” (because it is). Now in 2014, Xcel has turned its back on net metering and the best interest of Coloradans. It’s a flip-flop worthy of the most agitated of dying fish.
We all know what’s really going on, right? To paraphrase Newton’s First Law of Motion, a utility in a panic tends to stay in a panic —and the rooftop solar revolution has Xcel panicked. It is slowly, inevitably losing their monopoly power on providing electricity to Colorado citizenry.
This move is nothing more than a money grab. Xcel is protecting its profits, plain and simple. Despite the fact the government guarantees its profits, this avaricious band of thieves and blackguards is trying to hold on to its electricity monopoly by ruthlessly pursuing policies it knows will destroy its competition, despite having supported the opposite of those policies when they didn’t think they needed to worry about competition.
This kind of two-faced skullduggery would make Eve stand back and say, “Damn, Xcel —you have a major personality disorder.”