The Larimer Alliance believes vigorous democratic debate helps our society; and that expecting our elected representatives to respond to sincere questions about top policy issues helps that process.
Below are the questions that we developed as a group, and asked all candidates. Following our questions are their responses, embedded in our questions.
The following candidates did not respond: Jeni Arndt and Shirley Peel.
Mayoral & City Council 2023 Election Questionnaire
We are the Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment and seek to learn your ideas specific to our mission of educating the public & policy makers of the harms of Oil & Gas (O&G) development. We ask that you please provide your responses by October 5th, so that we may share them with our member list and other interested voters. We may or may not choose to endorse a candidate. Thank you for taking the time to address these important public health & safety issues. (If you feel a simple yes or no response is insufficient to answer any question, we encourage you to add your comments and ideas.)
SB19-181 substantially revised Colorado’s law governing (O&G) development establishing a clear priority of protecting public health, safety, the environment and wildlife resources. SB19-181 also enabled significant local government authority for regulating O&G development with a number of local governments having undertaken & established local regulations that increase protections of public health, safety, the environment and wildlife resources beyond what the State of Colorado feels is protective enough.
1. The City of Fort Collins is currently undergoing a rewrite of its O&G regulations with the next segment to be discussed & written being the operational standards. Operational standards include important regulations encompassing leak detection & repair (LDAR), air quality monitoring, financial assurance, water usage and Fort Collins & Larimer County’s joint O&G inspection program.
a. What ideas do you have for these operational standards that would be an improvement and more protective of public health & safety?
b. Do you support having a collaborative City and Larimer County inspection and enforcement team that conducts regular inspection and monitoring of O&G facilities, with the ability to fine and penalize non-compliant O&G operators for violations at their facilities?
i. Should local taxpayers or O&G operators pay for these inspections?
c. Full cost bonding requires O&G operators to post financial assurance equal to the costs of plugging, abandoning and reclaiming the O&G site once activities have been completed. Do you support full cost bonding requirements for all new O&G facilities?
d. Do you support monitoring and measuring actual water usage by O&G facilities, rather than relying on estimates provided by operators?
i. Do you support water provisions in the City’s regulations so that O&G operators are strongly encouraged or required to recycle & reuse their produced water?
2. The American Lung Association consistently gives Fort Collins an F-grade regarding air quality with the most recent 2023 report (link below) listing us as having the 15th worst air quality of over 200 American cities. Fort Collins has been moving down the most polluted list with more & more dangerous air quality. NCAR’s FRAPPÉ study found conclusively that O&G emissions are the major driver of unhealthy air quality in the northern Front Range area.
a. Do you support 24/7 air quality monitoring and real-time data reporting at O&G sites and facilities within the City’s jurisdiction including the growth management area, to be paid for by the O&G operator?
b. Do you support 24/7 air quality monitoring and real-time data reporting including signature O&G pollutants for addressing regional air pollution affecting Fort Collins?
c. What other idea(s) do you have to address Fort Collins’s dangerous air quality?
3. Have you received or will you accept campaign contributions from companies whose primary business is the development of fossil fuels?
4. What other idea(s) do you have that could improve environmental protections and sustainability in Fort Collins?
a. How would these lead to improvement(s) in public health, safety, and the lives of Fort Collins residents?
5. What stewardship, environmental or sustainability practices have you implemented in your life that you feel others should consider enacting?
a. Why & what difference(s) has it/they made?
6. Do you support Fort Collins in collaboration with other Front Range communities taking legal action against polluters responsible for emissions that harm Fort Collins & other Front Range communities’ air quality and endanger public health & safety?
Tim Gosar, Coordinator, Larimer Alliance for Health, Safety & the Environment
Response from Eric Hamrick: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-Questionnaire-Response-Eric-Hamrick
Response from Emily Francis: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-questionnaire-Response-Emily-Francis
Response from Julie Pignataro: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-Questionnaire-Response-Julie-Pignataro
Response from Melanie Potyondy: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-Questionnaire-Response-Melanie-Potyondy
Response from Patricia Babbitt: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-Questionnaire-Response-Patricia-Babbitt-1
Response from Alexander Adams: (please scroll through all pages of the pdf to see full response)2023-Candidate-Questionnaire-Response-Alexander-Adams