Response from Council Candidate Jessica Dyrdahl

District Four Candidate Jessica Dyrdahl provided this response to our questionnaire:

  1. Have you received, will you accept, or will you refuse to accept campaign contributions from donors and companies from the O&G industry or with strong financial interests in O&G development?  If your campaign has already accepted O&G donations will it give them back? Please explain.

I have not received campaign contributions from the oil and gas and development industries. We’ve seen the pervasive influence of big money in our elections at home, and we need leaders willing to be an independent voice for our community.

  1. SB19-181 substantially revised Colorado’s law governing O&G development: establishing clear priority to protect public health, safety, environment, and wildlife resources. SB181 also provides for significant local government authority to regulate O&G development, allowing local governments to increase protection of public health, safety, environment and wildlife resources beyond state minimum standards.

Do you think that Fort Collins should adopt new regulations for O&G development? If yes, what scope of regulations will you advocate the City to adopt? 

We must hold the oil and gas industry accountable and set strict standards for development. I am proud to support regulation and we must work with our County officials and neighboring cities to ensure that pollution from other parts of Northern Colorado doesn’t impact Fort Collins. I agree with the January Work Session of Council where they expressed interest in adopting zoning standards and setback for for new wells.

A substantial body of peer-reviewed scientific research shows significant negative health impacts from close proximity to O&G operations.

Do you support a 2000′ or 2500′ setback from homes, schools & their playgrounds, high occupancy buildings, outdoor recreation areas (such as parks and trails), and water sources from new O&G operations? Please explain.

Fort Collins currently has a reverse setback of 500′ for new residential construction from existing O&G facilities, and allows exceptions for reduced reverse setbacks.

I always want to do what is best for the health and safety of Fort Collins residents. Knowing SB181 recently went into effect and had a lot of support, I would support the passed legislation.  

Do you support increasing the reverse setback without exception? Please explain. 

  1. The American Lung Association gives Fort Collins’ air quality an “F” grade, and ranks it the 19th worst out of 229 American cities. NCAR’s FRAPPÉ study found conclusively that O&G emissions are the major driver of unhealthy air quality in the northern Front Range. Emissions from O&G operations also cause significant spikes in pollutants that impact 1) local areas in proximity to O&G sites and facilities, and 2) regional air quality harming entire Front Range communities. A growing number of local governments have undertaken air quality monitoring programs capable of measuring and reporting pollutants in real time, including signature pollutants emitted from O&G operations and facilities.

What do think Fort Collins should do to address its air quality problem(s)? 

One drastic impact of air quality came recently was from the wildfires, many that were started by individuals. Therefore, I would advocate for continued education and outreach regarding ways to mitigate wildfires. Another big component is vehicle idling and it is great we have signs at various areas of towns that intersect with the railways and I would advocate for additional signage. I would encourage residents to look at the City’s Healthy Homes program for indoor air quality as well, as many are low cost or no cost solutions. Increasing access to public transportation, tighter regulations, and investing in our sustainable future will all aid in increasing air quality. 

Would you support 24/7 monitoring and real-time reporting of air quality and emissions at all O&G sites and facilities in proximity to Fort Collins? Should this monitoring and reporting be paid for by the operator? Please explain.

Yes, this would be in conjunction with individuals needing to complete emissions tests on our personal vehicles and anything we can do to support the health and safety of our residents I support. 

Would you support 24/7 monitoring and real-time reporting of air quality and signature O&G pollutant emissions for addressing regional air quality problems affecting Fort Collins? Should this regional monitoring and reporting be paid for by the O&G industry? Please explain. 

Same as above. 

Would you support collaboration by Fort Collins with other Front Range communities in taking legal action against polluters responsible for emissions that harm Fort Collins air quality, such as polluters in neighboring counties? Please explain.

I would consult with legal authorities to see what the best course of action would be.

  1. Fort Collins is one of four municipalities that own and govern the Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) which provides electricity to the four municipalities including Fort Collins. In 2019, PRPA committed to achieving 100% clean energy generation by 2030. PRPA recently adopted a plan that includes building and operating a new natural gas-powered turbine around the same time it retires its Rawhide Coal Plant, which will be in conflict with PRPA’s stated commitment to 100% clean energy.

Would you support holding PRPA to the goal of 100% clean energy by 2030? Please explain.

Yes, we must continue to hold ourselves to high standards in order to meet our vision for the city.

Would you support requiring PRPA to establish and report with interim targets (such as for 2023, 2025, 2027) for achieving 100% clean energy? Please explain.

  Yes, as we are currently not meeting metrics it will help us with accountability to have interim targets. 

  1. An investment company is advancing a proposal to drill hundreds of wells in northern Larimer County which could negatively impact local residents, air quality, City-owned natural area and wildlife, and the environment in northern Larimer County.

Would you take a strong position for the City to actively oppose this type of O&G development? Please explain.

Any O & G development needs to be looked at in depth due to the negative impacts mentioned above.


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