Community effort needed in hydro talks
The “no” vote on the proposed Castle Creek hydro plant gives Aspen the chance to re-engage the discussion on hydropower and renewable energy. It also gives us a chance to heal some unfortunate wounds, reuniting both Aspen and the environmental community toward a common goal.
We all support the city of Aspen’s goals in becoming a 100 percent-renewable-energy community and reducing both greenhouse-gas emissions and the impacts from global warming. That has never been an issue.
Hydropower done right can be a realistic, cost-effective and environmentally responsible 21st century option. Organizations such as American Rivers, the Hydropower Reform Coalition, Trout Unlimited and the Western Rivers Institute have a lot of expertise in stream-ecosystem health and responsible hydropower development.
The city plans to have discussions on where to go from here in January. I hope those discussions will include a wide range of community and environmental interests. Developing responsible renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint should be an inclusive, community effort, not a “my way or the highway” dogfight. As Ward Hauenstein said at the City Council meeting, we need to take a “fresh look” and come together to resolve these issues.
We have an opportunity now to look at the whole picture of renewable-energy options, options that help mitigate the impacts of climate change and truly protect those ecosystems most vulnerable to climate change. We need to look at the whole system of our energy needs and uses as well as where that energy comes from.
Money wasn’t the reason the hydro plant lost at the polls. Genuine concern about Castle and Maroon creeks and concern about the path Aspen was taking were. Aspen has a chance now to redirect its efforts and work creatively with everyone.
I trust that in January, Aspen will heed the advice of its residents and take that chance.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Despite nearly a month of intense investigation by two APD detectives, two investigators with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and help from an FBI agent in Glenwood Springs, the case is progressing slowly.