New urban infrastructure including lower-carbon energy facilities are increasingly met with community resistance during the public participation phase of planning. Resistance can confound the implementation of government climate change and energy policies. A qualitative case study using social capital and place-attachment analytical lenses is conducted to build knowledge about the social factors involved in a Canberra community's resistance to a gas-fired power station. Analysis reveals that while social capital explains how resistance occurred, a threatened disruption to place attachment explains why. We conclude that public participation processes informed by community social capital and place attachment characteristics would help developers and planners pre-empt resistance.