Mayoral Candidate Jeni Arndt provided this response to our questionnaire:
- 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 contributions for from oil and gas for my campaign.
- 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?
Honestly, oil and gas development has no place in our city.
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.
Yes. Again, there should be no oil and gas development in our city.
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.
Do you support increasing the reverse setback without exception? Please explain.
- 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)?
We need to do everything in our power to address our air quality problems. Monitoring is good, but action is better. We have a serious problem here that impacts our health. We can’t and shouldn’t live this way.
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.
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.
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.
Regional issues and air quality is where a lot of the work needs to be done. We must partner with the counties. Yes on all the monitoring—unless CSU, another research university or the state is already doing that. We need the data, no doubt about that. Legal action is warranted when and where the law is broken. We need to also make sure our laws are strict enough and enforcement is timely enough to clean our air. If not, then we need to fix that. If so, then we need to enforce that. Operators should be held accountable for the pollution they create and for any potential waste they leave behind (such as orphan wells—that’s a huge problem). Orphan wells are the industry passing their costs on to the tax payer and that is wrong.
- 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.
I am glad PRPA committed to 100% clean energy and, as Mayor, I would have a seat on their board. If that target isn’t being met, let’s find out why and devise a plan to meet it.
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.
- An investment company is advancing a proposalto 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.
Yes. But we’d have to work closely with the county on this. Just taking stand from the city wouldn’t be as impactful as partnering with the county. I can’t really imagine that being profitable when clean energy development is more economical and dependable. But, yes, I’d take a stand against that.