Building more just, healthy relationships between people and establishing a more sustainable dynamic with the Earth

Author: Kevin Cross Page 1 of 3

Tell the PRPA Board: Include Renewables and Storage in Their Request for Proposals!

The Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) will be issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) sometime next year for firm, “dispatchable” capacity to make sure they can keep the lights on in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland after they close the Rawhide coal-fired power plant at the end of 2029.  Right now, they’re only giving serious consideration to a fracked gas-fired power plant to provide that generating capacity, with vague promises about being able to operate it someday using “Renewable Natural Gas” or Hydrogen.

Cost estimates for the fracked gas-fired plant range from $240 Million to $300 Million.  Those estimates do not include the costs of upgrading the plant to run on Hydrogen, and it’s doubtful that enough Renewable Natural Gas could be found to operate the new plant without putting more carbon into the atmosphere.  The fracked gas plant threatens to saddle rate payers in Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland with high electricity costs far into the future, while putting the PRPA’s goal of 100% non-carbon electricity – originally established for 2030 – out of reach.

The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) believes that there are likely less expensive, more climate-friendly approaches to providing firm, dispatchable power to the four cities served by PRPA than building a new fracked gas plant.  We are urging the PRPA to issue an “All-source RFP” for firm, dispatchable capacity that would allow bids for wind, solar, batteries, and other combinations of resources that might better meet our needs.

Please send an e-message to PRPA board members using this “one-click link” asking them to support a resolution calling for an “All-source RFP” at the upcoming PRPA board meeting on December 7th.  Please personalize the message if you have the time, and thank you!

Tell the PRPA Board: No Decisions on a New Gas Plant Without Detailed Study and Review

Platte River Power Authority (PRPA), the electric utility that serves Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and Estes Park, is proposing a board resolution that would fast-track the construction of a new 200 MW, $239 Million gas-fired power plant to come online in 2028.  Just 5 years ago, in 2018, PRPA adopted a goal of 100% non-carbon electricity by 2030, and we need the board to make sure its decisions don’t compromise that goal or result in unnecessary rate increases.

PRPA is supposed to make big decisions like these through long-term energy planning processes called “Integrated Resource Plans” or IRPs.  By effectively deciding to build a new gas plant outside of the IRP process, PRPA is skirting public accountability and community member input.

The next IRP is due in mid-2024.  The board should respect PRPA’s process by waiting for the IRP to be completed and demanding that it be reviewed by outside expert organizations such as the CSU Energy Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) before making any major investment decisions on “dispatchable capacity” such as gas plants.

Please send a short message to PRPA board members asking them to oppose Board Resolution No. 11-23 (see page 77-78) in its current form.  Please do this by the end of the day on Wednesday, October 25th so that they will have the opportunity to read it before their meeting on October 26th.  Messages to all board members should be sent to  A sample e-message is provided below.  Please personalize it if you have the time, but if you don’t, just copy, paste add your name and address, and send.  Thanks!

Dear PRPA Board Chair Bergsten and Directors Arndt, Peck, Marsh, Koenig, Minor, Hornbacher, and Gertig:

I am deeply troubled that that PRPA Management is asking you to approve that they “proactively develop the dispatchable capacity necessary to protect system reliability and financial sustainability” prior to completing the 2024 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).  Resolution 11-23 makes clear that Management’s intention is to proceed with a new fracked gas/methane power plant in the near future.  Such a plant would cost at least $239 Million.  The PRPA should not make such a large investment decision without a more thorough vetting of alternatives than has been done to date.

The IRP should be completed, and subjected to outside review by expert agencies such as the CSU Energy Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  PRPA has one of the most ambitious non-carbon goals in the nation, and it makes sense for it to avail itself of these resources in order to achieve a non-carbon electricity supply as close to 2030 as possible, at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.

Please exercise your oversight authority on behalf of both the PRPA and the ratepayers in Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and Estes Park.  No new power plant should be developed before the 2024 IRP has been completed and thoroughly reviewed.


Your Name

Your Address

Add your Voice in Support of  H. Res. 786 – Calling for Immediate De-escalation and Cease-fire in Israel and Occupied Palestine

From MoveOn Civic Action: “The recent violence against civilians by Hamas and the military response led by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has already killed over 3,300 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis, and wounded thousands more, with hundreds of people held hostage and hundreds more missing.

If you’re heartbroken, you are not alone. We can hold space in our hearts to mourn these deaths, while also calling on U.S. policymakers to use their power to do everything they can to stop all further loss of innocent lives, no matter the identity.”

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri), joined by 14 morally courageous representatives,  has introduced the Ceasefire Now Resolution  (HR 786) urging President Biden to push for and facilitate a ceasefire and deescalation of the conflict and promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. 

 “War and retaliatory violence do not achieve accountability or justice; they only lead to more death and human suffering,” Bush added. “The United States bears a unique responsibility to exhaust every diplomatic tool at our disposal to prevent mass atrocities and save lives. We can’t bomb our way to peace, equality, and freedom. With thousands of lives lost and millions more at stake, we need a ceasefire now.”

Click here to sign the petition to demand that everything possible be done to stop all loss of innocent lives.  (petition from MoveOn Civic Action)

Vote in Upcoming Fort Collins Municipal Elections; NCALF “Voters Guide”

Ballots for the Fort Collins municipal elections will be mailed to people the week of October 16th.  Fort Collins residents will be voting for Mayor and for council district seats 2, 4, and 6.  They will also be voting on several ballot questions, including two that would increase taxes to pay for city services.

As a 501(c)3 organization, NCALF cannot endorse or oppose candidates for City Council, but we have gathered candidate responses to a questionnaire we circulated in September and October. Additionally, we have taken a position on one of the two tax questions.  Candidate questionnaire results and our position on the tax question are provided below.

Questionnaire Results – Mayoral Race

Questionnaire Results – Council District 2

Questionnaire Results – Council District 4

Questionnaire Results – Council District 6

City Initiated Ballot Issue 1: NCALF SUPPORTS.  A “yes” vote would increase the sales tax rate 0.5% to fund parks and recreation facilities, the climate program, and the transit program.  The City estimates that a family of four would see their sales taxes increase by an average of $156 per year.  NCALF notes that this tax increase would not fully fund the City’s climate or transit programs, and advocates that additional “polluter pays” taxes be developed later to help pay for these programs.

City Initiated Ballot Issue 2:   NCALF was unable to develop a consensus position on this issue.  A “yes” vote would increase the property tax rate by 3 mills to increase funding for City affordable housing initiatives.  We do note that Coloradans voted to dedicate 0.1% of income tax revenue to affordable housing programs by approving Proposition 123 in 2022.

Ask our PRPA Board Members: Is a New Fracked Gas Plant Really Necessary?

The Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) provides electricity to Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and Estes Park.  PRPA made headlines in 2018 when it committed to achieving a 100% fossil fuel-free resource mix by 2030.  Now, PRPA management wants to build a new fracked gas/methane power plant that would remain in operation for decades.

Our two PRPA board members – Mayor Jeni Arndt and Utilities Director Kendall Minor – need to ask PRPA management some hard questions before considering approval of any new fossil fuel-based power plant at this stage of the climate crisis.  Please send Arndt and Minor an e-message to express your desire for answers to those questions.  Their e-addresses are and, respectively.  You can use the sample e-message below, or write your own.  Please send your message by Wednesday, September 27th, which is the day before the next PRPA board meeting.

Dear Mayor Arndt and Utilities Director Minor –

I am deeply troubled that PRPA management is asking you to approve moving forward with developing a new fracked gas/methane plant before even completing its 2024 Integrated Resource Plan.

The climate crisis is upon us.  PRPA has a goal of 100% non-carbon electricity by 2030, and U.N. Secretary General has called on all developed countries to achieve this goal by 2035.  Given these facts, it is of the utmost importance to understand why PRPA wants to rush to build a new methane plant that would remain in operation for decades.

Before considering approval of any new fossil fuel plant, you should ask PRPA management the following questions, and insist on clear, well documented answers:

  1. Why can’t the PRPA’s existing methane turbines be used to meet the demand for electricity when wind, solar, and hydropower resources aren’t sufficient to meet that demand?
  2. Why can’t the existing coal plant – which will be shut down at the end of 2029 – be reconfigured to run on methane when wind, solar, and hydropower resources aren’t sufficient to meet system demands?
  3. Has the PRPA considered installing long-duration batteries such as those being installed by Xcel in order to bridge any gaps in generation capacity? If not, why not?
  4. Distributed energy resources – such as solar panels and batteries – can be aggregated to form a “virtual power plant.”  Were distributed energy resources fully accounted for in developing the recommendation for a new methane power plant? If not, why not?
  5. The draft resolution you will consider this Thursday refers to “green hydrogen.”  Although green hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel, how much of it could realistically be used in the proposed new methane plant?
  6. The draft resolution you will consider this Thursday also refers to “renewable natural gas.”  Although renewable natural gas is a low-carbon fuel, how much of it could realistically be used in the proposed new methane plant?
  7. What was the bidding process for hiring Black and Veatch, a corporation that installs methane power plants, to study the need for more generating capacity? Will Black and Veatch be barred from bidding on designing and building the new power plant?

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s critical that no stone be left unturned to ensure that there is truly no alternative to building a new fossil-fuel generating plant that will remain in service for decades.  I look forward to hearing back from you with answers from PRPA management to the above questions.


Your name

Your address

Note: For more information on the proposed methane power plant, see pages 188-191 of the meeting packet for the September 28th PRPA board meeting.

Your Help Needed to Phase Out New Fracking Permits by 2030

The coalition “Safe and Healthy Colorado” is attempting to place an initiative on the 2024 state ballot that would phase out all new fracking permits by 2030.  This is an “all hands on deck” effort for those in Colorado who want to do their part to avert climate catastrophe.  If that includes you, please consider doing the following three things:

  1. Learn all about the initiative and pledge to sign the petition to get it on the ballot here.  Please note that petition signature gathering will begin in early 2024.
  2. If you can contribute now toward the legal costs needed to get the ballot language approved, please click here.
  3. Signature-gathering will not begin until Safe and Healthy Colorado has received $1.5 million in pledges toward the campaign.  If you can make such a pledge – to be paid once the $1.5 million has been raised – please click here.

Thank you for your support for this critical effort!

Active Discards!

Are your discards active, or are they just trash?

“Active Discards” is a term author Bea Johnson coined in her book Zero Waste Home. She said, “I believe that when we act on a piece of trash and send it back to its originator, we offset its negative environmental impact. While inaction condones waste and perpetuates it, action on the other hand, can initiate change. Shipping it back along with a suggestion letter shows dedication and provides a more powerful way to get your message across than words alone. That piece of trash then becomes what I call an ‘active discard.’

NCALF project, FoCo Trash Mob’s motto is REDUCE, REUSE, RETURN TO OFFENDER! We are encouraging you to DO something about all the frustrating non-recyclable plastic packaging you GOT, DIDN’T WANT, BUT HAD TO BUY.  Return it to where it came from! 

Here’s how:

  1. Write a letter – see examples and find a template HERE
  2. Put the unwanted piece of plastic in a mailer, not an envelope.
  3. Mail it back to where it came from (cost will be $4.00 – $5.00 – we can help you with postage).
  4. Take a picture of your letter and plastic packaging and post it to our FB page or email us and we’ll post it. 

Please let us know who and where you wrote to, and if you heard back: this is an ongoing action and we are compiling the information!

Thank you – for making your discards ACTIVE!

Let Council Know That You Want to Vote on a Large GHG Emitter Tax in November!

On June 13th, the Fort Collins City Council will discuss how to pay for a number of City initiatives, including our climate programs. One of the funding mechanisms under consideration is a “Large Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emitter Tax,” which would make Fort Collins’ largest polluters help pay for things like public transit, bike and pedestrian pathways, home energy efficiency and electrification, and EV charging stations.

Councilmembers need to hear from us before June 13th to encourage them to move the Large GHG Emitter Tax forward to the ballot this November. Please write to them at and tell them that you want to have the opportunity to vote on this tax. A sample letter appears below. Additional information and “talking points” are available in this slide deck from the salon presentation given on this topic on May 12th. See in particular slides 12 – 15. Customize your letter if you have time, but if you don’t, just send the following:


Subject: Please let the voters decide on a Large GHG Emitter Tax

Dear Mayor Arndt and Councilmembers Gutowsky, Pignataro, Canonico, Peel, Ohlson, and Francis:

Please support moving the Large GHG Emitter Tax forward for voter consideration this November. It’s important that this tax be included as an option because:

  • More funding is needed than can be raised by the regressive fees and taxes proposed by the City’s Finance Department to pay for climate programs.
  • Regressive fees and taxes should not be the only way we fund our climate programs.
  • As Arthur Pigou said years ago, negative externalities should be taxed to reduce undesirable outcomes.

Although Broadcom and Anheuser Busch – Fort Collins’ two largest corporate GHG emitters – have made promises to reduce their emissions substantially during this decade, a Large GHG Emitter Tax would be a good tool to help ensure they follow through.  This is especially important given the recent announcement that Apple recently entered into a multibillion deal with Broadcom to manufacture 5G radio frequency components, mostly at Broadcom’s Fort Collins facility.

Everyone has an interest in solving the climate crisis. Those most responsible for the crisis should be required to step up. Broadcom and Anheuser-Busch have the wherewithal to help fund our community’s efforts to address that crisis. Please let the voters decide in November!


[Name and Council District*]

*To find your Council District, click here and enter your address.

Put People Over the Pentagon

Pentagon spending dwarfs every single other discretionary program in the federal budget by a long shot, with a proposed $886 BILLION budget for next year––a $28 billion increase over last year with little to no debate whatsoever. If Congress does as they have the previous couple of years, they’re likely to shovel on billions more. Much of this money goes into price-gouged, cost plus contracts.

This is a critical time for us to sound the alarm before spending is balanced on the backs of those most in need. Your voice is desperately needed now more than ever.

Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) recently introduced the People Over Pentagon Act, which would cut Pentagon spending by $100 billion. This crucial legislation provides a great start and proves that the resources tp reduce government spending are there, while helping Americans struggling with inflation, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, cutting child poverty, and fighting catastrophic climate change. Congress just needs to have the backbone to put these priorities over the greed of weapons manufacturers. Contact your representative today and urge them to finally stand up to weapon contractors, and put People over the Pentagon!

Note: this Action Alert was brought to us by Peace Action.

Provide Feedback on Updating the Fort Collins Land Use Code

The City of Fort Collins is now gathering public input concerning its Land Use Code. Please visit this site and click on the “Share Your Feedback” button. You will only be able to provide feedback on one topic at a time, but you will be able to return to the form to provide feedback on as many other topics as you would like.

As a reminder, the City repealed its “Land Development Code” in January of this year due to public opposition to a number of its provisions. NCALF held a salon on this topic featuring Ross Cunniff of Preserve Fort Collins and Kelly Evans of FoCo Forward on February 10th. To view the recording of that salon, visit this page.

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