The Estes Park Mayor, Todd Jirsa, and six Trustees voted to pass a resolution developed in coordination with the Estes Valley Sustainability Group, the Town of Estes Park, and the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) which provides wholesale electricity to Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland.
The Longmont and Fort Collins City Councils have already passed resolutions for 100% renewable or carbon-free electric energy by the year 2030. The resolution, endorsed in concept by 30 local businesses, demonstrates Estes Park’s support for the new Resource Diversification Policy, which is being considered by the PRPA Board of Directors.
“Tonight’s vote from the Estes Park Town Board signals our support to fight climate change and modernize how we get our energy,” said Gordon MacAlpine of the Estes Valley Clean Energy Coalition. “Climate change, air and water pollution, and exploding growth in Colorado call for bold action that will protect our environment and strengthen our local economy.”
That policy, strongly supported by Estes Valley residents at a November 1 “Community Listening Session,” calls for the PRPA to work proactively toward the goal of reaching a 100% non-carbon resource mix by 2030, while maintaining Platte River’s three pillars of providing reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable electricity and services.
“This is very exciting for Longmont residents. It means we can achieve our 100% goal through our provider in a very cost-effective way while also maintaining the high reliability we are accustomed to. Additionally, by achieving 100% we will be eliminating air pollution from the Rawhide and not relying on methane to replace the coal production,” said Karen Dike, Vice Chair, Sustainable Resilient Longmont (SRL).
SRL started work to move Longmont to 100% renewable energy commitment about 18 months ago with teams in four cities comprising the PRPA service—Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins, and Estes Park.
“SRL will continue to work on movement to 100% renewable energy by working in Longmont, with teams in the other cities, and with city and PRPA staff as we move to meet this challenge. We want to thank Mayor Bagley for championing this initiative here in Longmont and at the PRPA board,” Dike said.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are currently at their highest levels in millions of years, with much of Colorado in extreme to exceptional drought conditions. Rocky Mountain National Park has experienced more wildfires in the past ten years than in its prior recorded history.
Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United States Fourth National Climate Assessment warn of dire climate consequences if people continue to burn fossil fuels.
“We’ve worked on this issue for several years, and we’re proud that our Town Board is sending a strong message of support to the Platte River Power Authority to move forward with its plan to power northern Colorado communities with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030,” said Don Sellers of the Estes Valley Sustainability Group.
“Transitioning from coal to renewable energy will involve coordination between consumers and our local utilities, and there will be significant economic and environmental benefits for Estes Park as well as Rocky Mountain National Park.”
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