Category Archives: Action Items

Defend Rural Colorado’s Freedom to Access Clean Energy

Act Now: Help Protect Access to Local Clean Energy

Colorado is home to some of the nation’s best wind, solar and small hydro resources. Local communities should be free to access these renewable energy resources. When communities invest in local resources, they keep energy dollars close to home, create jobs, and reduce harmful carbon emissions.

Access to local clean energy is under threat: Tri-State Generation and Transmission  has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a rate penalty that would essentially stop rural communities from buying clean, local electricity.

Let your voice be heard before March 11: Tell FERC to reaffirm communities’ right to access clean energy. For more details, see below the petition.

Defend Freedom to Access Local Clean Energy

The Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426

Dear Ms. Bose,

We, the undersigned, urge the Commission to find that Tri-State’s proposed lost revenue penalty proposal contained in Tri-State’s revised Board Policy 101 is inconsistent with the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (“PURPA”) and the Commission’s implementing regulations.

Rate penalties placed on purchases of power from local qualifying facilities appear to run counter to the spirit and the letter of PURPA. PURPA Section 210 states an intention to “encourage cogeneration and small power production” through rate setting that is “just and reasonable to the electric consumers of the electric utility and in the public interest.”

As we consider the public interest in mitigating climate change and in promoting local economic development, we ask that the Commission deny approval of Tri-State's lost revenue penalty. Tri-State's proposal penalizes utilities like Delta-Montrose for buying local renewable energy that the Commission has said Delta Montrose is obligated to purchase. Approving the rate penalty would essentially undo the Commission's previous decision and hinder, rather than promote, local renewable energy development.

For these reasons, we urge you to reject Tri-State's proposed lost revenue penalty.



87 signatures

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Proposed Penalty for Local Clean Power

In June of 2015, FERC affirmed the right of Delta-Montrose Electric Association (Delta-Montrose), a Western slope rural electric cooperative, to access local renewable energy from a small dam on an irrigation canal.

Federal  regulators ruled that local access to clean power superseded contractual restrictions imposed by Tri-State that would have otherwise barred Delta-Montrose and other communities from generating their own clean energy.

But access to local clean energy remains threatened: on February 17th, Delta-Montrose’s wholesale supplier, Tri-State asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve a rate penalty on utilities like Delta-Montrose when they buy energy from local renewable energy projects.

This rate penalty would effectively make local renewable energy projects uneconomical, denying communities vital economic development opportunities and derailing efforts to move away from fossil fuels. It appears to violate both the letter and the spirit of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which seeks to encourage local small-scale renewable energy generation.

Sign this petition and join us as we reaffirm the right of communities to access local sources of clean energy.


FERC’s 2015 Decision affirming Delta-Montrose’s ability to access clean energy under PURPA: Docket No. EL15-43-000

Clean Energy Action’s Letter of Support for Delta-Montrose in Tri-State’s February 17, 2016 Petition for Declaratory Order of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., Docket No. EL16-39-000

Expand Coal Mining in Colorado? No Way!

Please join Clean Energy Action and others by signing this petition urging rejection of the ColoWyo Mine Expansion.

Let the Obama Administration’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and the Bureau of Land Management know that you oppose approval of the ColoWyo Mine expansion permit!

Today is the last day to act! Public comments must be submitted before February 19th.

Reject the Expansion of the ColoWyo Mine

Reject the Expansion of the ColoWyo Mine

I strongly urge you to reject the ColoWyo South Taylor Permit Expansion Area Project and support you standing firm with your January, 2016 commitment to a moratorium on new coal leases.

Expanding mining at the ColoWyo Mine threatens to not only destroy the habitat of sage grouse and other wildlife in the area, but would send millions of tons of toxic emissions into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and threatening air, water, and human health. Continued expansion of coal mining when major US coal companies are faltering financially puts adequate reclamation into serious question and could leave taxpayers on the hook for millions in clean-up.

Our country needs to encourage broad development of clean, renewable energy from wind and sun that are free and abundant here in the west. The future is here! Please show courage and leadership and take action to promote the transition to sustainable, stable economies in our coal mining communities.

We want to leave a healthy planet for our children and future generations. Keep the coal in the ground! Reject the ColoWyo South Taylor Permit Expansion Area Project.

Thank you for your consideration,


82 signatures

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Together, we can:

1)            Protect the soil, water and endangered wild life of northwest Colorado. Do not expand the ColoWyo Mine into over 2000 acres of previously undisturbed land that drains into the Yampa River. This land, only 30 miles from Dinosaur National Monument, is largely prime sage grouse habitat.

2)            Keep the coal in the ground. Do not permit an additional 240 million metric tons of carbon and other toxic emissions to be released into the atmosphere. When this coal is burned over the next twenty years, it will threaten our health, air, water and climate.

3)         Transition Colorado into a sustainable, clean energy future fueled by wind and sun. Let’s move forward with 21st century sources of energy that don’t pollute and save ratepayers on their bills. It is time to push for a just transition away from coal, one that supports communities as they face the inevitable loss of jobs and regional economic instability that will follow when last century’s ColoWyo mine is depleted.

Additional Resources

ColoWyo Coal Mine Expansion Environmental Assessment

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement: ColoWyo Legal Notices and Outreach Letters

Feb. 6, 9:30 am: Bringing the Paris Climate Accords Home

Bringing the Paris Climate Accords Home: Citizen Activist Training

9:30 am to 2:30 pm, February 6th
Jefferson Unitarian Church
14350 West 32nd Avenue, Golden, CO 80401
Hosted by: Marie Venner, Martin Voelker, Jeff Neumann-Lee, and Leslie Glustrom


Update: With about 40 attendees, the Golden Citizen Activist training was a great success. Stay tuned for future Citizen Power trainings nearby or reach out to to inquire about setting up a training in your community.

This workshop will help you gain the skills needed to help decarbonize your community’s electricity–the largest single step that can be taken in states like Colorado to do our part to address climate change.

With a combination of inspiring speakers and hands-on trainings you will leave with the tools you need to do your part to bring the Paris Climate Accords to your community.

Register Now!

Online tickets are free. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Suggested donation:

$30 – Regular

$15 – Students and low-income

No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Lunch and snacks will be served.

Protect Colorado’s Forests from New Coal Mining

Tell the Forest Service not to give Arch Coal, a company that today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,  access to 19,000 acres of pristine, roadless National Forest for new coal mining.

Devastating Numbers

  • New mines would give the nation’s second largest coal company access to 170 million tons of publicly-owned coal
  • Coal would release 485 million tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere along with millions of cubic feet of methane emissions
  • The Forest Service’s own analysis estimates $13 billion in environmental and economic damages

Keep Colorado's Forests Untouched and Its Coal in the Ground

Dear U.S. Forest Service,
We the undersigned write to urge you to withdraw your proposal to open areas protected under the Colorado Roadless Rule to new coal mining.

The numbers associated with this proposal are devastating:

- Over 19,000 acres of pristine forest opened to new mining
- Allowing Arch Coal to access to 170 million tons of coal that, when burnt, send 486 million tons of carbon pollution into our atmosphere
- According to your own analysis, this carbon pollution would result in $13 billion in environmental and economic damages

This proposal flies in the face of the administration’s aim of reducing carbon emissions by 26%. After the Paris conference, leadership is needed to end new fossil fuel leases. China has announced a 3 year ban on new coal leases. The administration should begin to take steps to end fossil fuel leasing entirely: leaving the Colorado Roadless Rule intact would be an important first step.

The North Fork Valley is home to some Colorado’s most beautiful landscapes. Please keep Colorado’s forests untouched for future generations and keep Colorado’s coal where it belongs: in the ground. Please reject this dangerous loophole and keep Colorado’s Roadless rule intact.

Thank you for your consideration,


94 signatures

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Keep Our Forests Untouched

Explore the area around Paonia, and you’ll find some of the Western Slope’s most beautiful country. That’s why in 2012, the area was included in 4.2 million acres of National Forest that were set aside under the Colorado Roadless Rule.

The Roadless Rule was intended to conserve Colorado’s forest for future generations but a Forest Service proposal threatens to give Arch Coal access to thousands of acres of roadless National Forest for new mines.

Keep Coal in the Ground

China recently announced a 3 year ban on new coal mining. The Obama administration should also halt new coal leases, but these new mines would give Arch Coal access to 170 million tons of publicly-owned coal. When burned, this coal would release 485 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere along with millions of cubic feet of methane emissions.

We have until January 15th to tell the Forest Service: keep our forests untouched and keep this coal in the ground! Act now to protect Colorado’s forests from new coal mining.

“Ultimately, if we’re gonna prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re gonna have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground.” – President Obama, upon rejecting the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline

Tell Congress to Renew Wind and Solar Tax Credits

The Opportunity

The renewal of tax credits for wind and solar has become a real possibility as Congressional leaders will vote this week to approve a deal on spending and tax credits before leaving the capital for holiday recess.

The Need

The solar investment tax credit and the wind production tax credit have helped to spur unprecedented job growth and significant investments in clean energy. An expiration of these tax credits would mean a painful contraction of both industries, at a time when the action to mitigate climate change – and the nation’s economic health – can ill afford a major setback.

More information regarding the tax credits can be found below the petition on this page.

Take Action

The solar investment tax credit and the wind production tax credit that Clean Energy Action and allies supported were both extended as part of a broad deal on tax credits and spending. The solar and wind tax credits are expected to increase wind and solar installations by 39 GW over the next 5 years.

More Information on the Solar Investment Tax Credit

The investment tax credit provides a 30% tax credit on the total cost of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar installations. It provides individuals or businesses involved with a solar project a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes. The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association has a wealth of information on the success of the solar investment tax credit (ITC), including these highlights:

  • In the last 4 years, solar employment has nearly doubled (it’s up 86%)
  • Solar installations have increased 1600% since the ITC was implemented in 2006
  • A 5 year renewal of the ITC is projected to add 95 GW of solar energy to the U.S. grid.

More Information on the Wind Production Tax Credit

The production tax credit (PTC) is a performance-based tax incentive providing $.023 for each kilowatt hour generated by wind energy. The PTC illustrates the need for a long-term extension for both tax policies: when Congress failed to renew the PTC in 2013, wind installations fell 92% and 30,000 workers lost their jobs. Furthermore, the wind PTC has been renewed for 1 or 2 year periods, leading to a lack of long-term visibility for the wind industry. Still, the PTC has been instrumental in providing huge benefits to our economy and our environment. According to the American Wind Energy Association’s site, the PTC delivered enormous growth in wind energy and savings for consumers:

  • Nearly 30% of new generating capacity  in the last 5 years has come from wind
  • Wind now accounts for 4.4% of U.S. electricity
  • Wind has saved consumers billions of dollars in fuel costs, including $2 billion in savings over 2 days in 2014’s  as the “Polar Vortex” disrupted natural gas supplies in the Midwest

For more information on the PTC, visit the American Wind Energy Association’s website.