April Fool's Day With Xcel Energy and the City of Boulder

April 2010

Led by Simon "Grunwasch" (German for "greenwash"), activists who envision a less-polluted Colorado---one where the leading utility, Xcel Energy, relies solely on renewable energy---found a crafty way to make their point on April Fool's Day, or as they called it, "Fossil Fools Day." The anonymous pranksters added the word "xcel" to Xcel's energy-efficiency Web site, responsiblebynature.com, and posted a phony press release announcing that the utility was shutting down all its coal-fired power plants in Colorado to supply 100 percent renewable energy to its customers by 2017, writes Boulder's Daily Camera. The prank spawned a complaint from Xcel, and the site was quickly shut down. Company spokesman Mark Stutz says Xcel is already committed to supplying more renewable energy: "Even though we are the number one producer of wind energy and the number five in solar in the country, there is no way you can go to 100 percent renewable energy with the current technology, and it is not economically feasible either." The activists' press release also accused Xcel of "masking its environmentally destructive reliance on fossil fuels behind a public image that emphasizes renewable energy" (via Boulder Weekly).

Meanwhile, Boulder residents are being told to ignore any door-hangers they may have received concerning the "Crackbusters" program, instructing them to clean their sidewalk cracks, notes the Camera. "There is no duty to keep the cracks in sidewalks, 'free of dust and insect larvae,'" notes a city-issued press release. "This appears to be an April Fool's joke" (via The Denver Post). Vanessa Martinez contributed to this post.

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