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Home / Articles / Views / In Case You Missed It /  In case you missed it | Xcel playing catch up? Yeah right
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Thursday, September 26,2013

In case you missed it | Xcel playing catch up? Yeah right

By Boulder Weekly Staff

Xcel playing catch up? Yeah right

Really? Xcel felt so threatened by the formidable donations being raised in favor of municipalization that the utility behemoth felt compelled to donate $300,000 to the opposition?

To even the playing field?

Hogwash. We almost choked on our fracking fluid when we heard this one. We read with great interest in corporate daily brand X that Sierra Club’s $60,000 donation, local fundraising and crowd-sourcing from around the country was enough to make Xcel shake in its boots.

It’s laughable that a company the size of Xcel, which is no doubt rolling tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into a high-powered legal team to fight the possibility of losing Boulder as one of its customers — setting a precedent that other cities might follow — is somehow playing catch-up with fundraisers for the opposition.

We’re supposed to believe that Goliath is David?

For all its futile efforts in recent months to separate itself from Voter Approval of Debt Limits, the main campaign against municipalization, denying that it had much to do with the formation of a ballot question that could stop municipalization in its tracks, Xcel has finally fessed up to what all of us knew a long time ago: This is a fundamental question about local control versus corporate profits.

Granted, we still have questions about the city’s ability to efficiently run its own electrical utility, at least in the beginning during its learning curve, but most models indicate that sticking with a profit-driven monopoly is not better for the environment or even our pocketbook. So let’s follow the example of places like, wait for it, Boulder’s neighbor to the northeast, Longmont, which not only runs its own electrical utility but successfully overcame corporate money to gain voter approval for the use of its own fiber-optic network a couple of years back.

Power to the people.

Gosh darnit. We missed this week’s media tour of Boulder’s new Walmart.

We got the press releases. We had it on our calendar. And then, for some reason, we let it slip through the cracks.

Hey, don’t get us wrong. We keep an open mind. We listen to the wingnuts that call, email and write to us as closely as we do to the public relations hacks.

But in this case, our mind was already made up. Even if this so-called “Neighborhood Market,” which we acknowledge is an admirable PR attempt at making this job-sucking leech sound like a valuable addition to our community, was selling bricks of gold for a buck apiece, we wouldn’t give it the time of day.

Being one ourselves, we happen to value independent, locally owned businesses, and Walmart is the antithesis, if not the poisonous death knell, of such entities. For all its efforts to change its image, Walmart is still the purveyor of cheap — from low wages to shoddy goods that are bad for the environment, and our health.

Hey kids, there’s a new place to buy GMO corn opening up at 30th and Iris! Talk about picking the wrong market to expand into.

We refuse to buy into yet another corporation whose infiltration into our community will do little more than put our mom-and-pop operations out of business.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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