Yesterday, Xcel Energy’s attempt to shoot down Boulder’s move to take over its electrical system failed badly. The company sponsored ballot measure would have limited the debt the city could take on, effectively preventing the city from proceeding with an eminent domain case to buy the company’s local infrastructure. Here’s what happened:
Backers of a potential Boulder municipal electric utility cleared a major hurdle Tuesday as voters rejected an Xcel Energy-supported debt-limit measure by a large margin in favor of a competing question placed on the ballot by the City Council.
With more than three-quarters of the ballots counted as of 11:36 p.m. Tuesday night, the City Council-backed Question 2E was passing with 65.2 percent of the vote. The results were nearly reversed for Question 310, with just 33.7 percent of voters casting votes for the measure.
Xcel Energy and Voter Approval of Debt Limits, the group that ran the Yes on 310 campaign, both characterized the vote as a partial victory for their side because the alternative debt-limit measure would not have been on the ballot at all without their efforts.
But municipalization supporters considered the vote a resounding success and said a measure that would have severely hamstrung the utility was defeated.
The process of creating its own power company will be hard enough for Boulder without needless political roadblocks. Xcel needs to get with the program and stop wasting everyone’s time and money trying to derail a project that is clearly backed by the majority of Boulder citizens.
Congratulations to Mayor Matt Appelbaum and the thousands of citizens who are fighting Xcel and trying to build a better electrical system for their city.