March 29, 2012
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group welcomes the Platte River Power Authority’s (PRPA’s) current efforts to improve the efficiency and reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of its coal-fired Rawhide Power Plant. However, we point out that these improvements do little to reduce climate-altering carbon dioxide emissions. Climate scientists tell us with increasing urgency that global carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced dramatically in the coming decades in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.
We believe that Rawhide should be converted to burn natural gas in the near term, which would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50%. We further believe that:
a. The municipal owners of the PRPA, including the City of Ft. Collins, should step up their efforts to reduce electric energy use by their customers.
b. The PRPA should aggressively develop wind and solar generating capacity in order to reduce the use of all fossil fuels to a bare minimum amount within the next two decades.
c. The methods used to extract natural gas, including hydraulic fracturing, should be well-regulated by the state and national governments to protect both the environment and public safety.