During the December 4 board meeting of the Regional Air Quality Commission, the city of Fort Collins was recognized as one of the first recipients of the commission’s Clean Air Champion award. The city has taken significant steps to reduce emissions by initiating a program to convert the city fleet to electric vehicles as well as replacing mowing equipment with electric machines.
It is my hope that some of you reading this blog will take the time to send congratulations to Mayor Troxel and city staff for this effort. In the climate crisis we are now facing, there is no change too big not to be considered; but, likewise, there is no change too small to go without recognition. We must have a broad perspective that will allow us to perceive all the interconnecting dots.
A significant connection in regards to the city’s admirable work to shift away from vehicles and equipment using internal combustion engines, is the parallel need for the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) to prepare for 100% renewable sources of energy by 2030 (possibly by 2028 given the recent proposal of the Air Quality Control Commission to move the retirement date for the Rawhide coal-powered plant up by two years). As long as the electric vehicles and equipment that the city has purchased run on electricity generated by fossil fuels, whether coal or natural gas, the value of that investment is greatly diminished.
The city of Fort Collins is gaining a reputation for being a leader in addressing climate change, it is critical that the city’s efforts be supported by equally bold action on the part of the PRPA.