Posts tagged Gilpin County
Whoop-dee do……..Now…what?? so what.
Xcel Energy yesterday lost its battle to add Boulder to its list of patsy/pushover franchise communities, and “so what?” would be the big question, because it will still be the only provider of electric power for Boulder, will still be generating some of that power with coal, and will still be figuring out how to smooth over the lumps in its “natural resource” gravy to secure a new franchise agreement some time in the next five years — plenty of time for Boulder voters, who’ve become increasingly conservative over the past decade, to vote in a team that agrees with the three members of council who strongly supported getting Xcel’s franchise deal on this year’s ballot. (Suzy Ageton, Suzy’s “adorable little monkey” Ken Wilson, and George Karakehian.) It should be remembered that Suzy was the top vote-getter in last year’s council election, indicating there might be a lot of room for people who think as she does.
Assuming that Xcel does eventually get its deal on the ballot, we know they’ll stop at nothing to win it. The local enviros might have a lot of cache with the elite local pols, some of whom click on chandeliers when they click on a light bulb; however, when push comes to shove in the political arena, the pushers — the people spending the big bucks to win — usually do win. Xcel merely has to figure out a way to present its ongoing renewable energy efforts as a little more potent, a little more on track, a little more “oomphy” when it comes to wind and solar power. To do that, they’re likely to install a couple of cute little wind farms (watch out Gilpin County) — and maybe even partner on a solar-array battery-powered automobile facility. (Such facilities, which have solarized carports for a fleet of lithium-battery-powered vehicles, are included as part of “decarbonization” programs in a number of cities, although not yet in Boulder.)
Some history is worth noting: in 2000, with natural gas prices busting through all prior ceilings, and seniors on fixed incomes going without food to keep their heat on, Xcel went on an advertising rampage, presenting itself via a very hi-tech and suspiciously subliminal ad scheme. The central ad had marching bands, bouquets of flowers, and an adult woman with cherry-red lipstick and a short, “little girl” pleated skirt offering lollipops. People wrote to the company asking about those lollipops — the official word back from their independent communications contractor was that the ads were to help Coloradans get to know Xcel. As what, though? A supplier of lollipops or of advertising aimed to sexually arouse male rate payers? Sexual themes are probably the standard subliminal tool for all sophisticated print and video media campaigns — somehow, it makes you want to accept a company that otherwise might be regarded as a rapacious predator reaching into everyone’s pockets. With the sex theme, they’re sending the message that they only reach into your pockets for a quick rubdown of your privates. It’s irrational, but that’s probably why it works.
The profit and loss statements for Xcel show that they presently make substantially more money per individual Colorado home than they do in Minnesota, their base location. This fact was part of the documented presentation made by former council member Steve Pomerance and others working with him to help shoot down Xcel’s bid. The facts are, this is a company that makes all it can wherever and whenever it can. If they do get a franchise agreement on the ballot, they’ll likely win, as they have proven themselves to spend, spend and spend some more on advertising.
That’s what makes them tick. They manufacture not simply electric power…they also manufacture consent.
Enviros were shouting outside the August 4th city council meeting, but the Boulder city council is not really the shouting zone for this one. The shouting zone regarding energy issues is in D.C., or maybe at the state capitol building in Denver. The Xcel CEO may have walked away empty-handed after meeting privately with individual city council members, but he only “slinked” away if you think the Cheshire Cat is slinking when it sits on its tree limb smiling, smiling and smiling some more.
Rob Smoke has no energy to speak of, but is wired for sound. See his news stories here daily.