Don’t be hoodwinked by water NIMBYs
September 1, 2012
After reading the “Friends of Castle Creek and Maroon Creek” drivel, I felt it was time to weigh in with some pertinent background on the issue dating back to my terms of office as mayor of Aspen from 1973 to 1979:
1. Every mayor and council since me fully used and developed the water rights of the city for the beneficial use by the citizens and protection of the environment to a reasonable degree.
2. Every time the matter was brought to the voters over the past 40 years, they supported the financial expenditures by an overwhelming majority.
3. The city developed a “comprehensive water and power management plan” during my watch, and it has been consistently followed and implemented every year since, with capital construction and institutional arrangements fully supported by an overwhelming majority of citizens in every vote.
4. On the power-policy side of the “comprehensive water and power management plan,” the city has taken the long-term policy decision for more than 40 years by developing the Ruedi Water and Power Authority and the Ruedi Reservoir Power Plant, the Maroon Creek Power Plant and now the Castle Creek Energy Center.
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5. The policy basis for each power action was comprehensive planning, reducing dependency on fossil and nuclear fuels for electricity, local independence for power generation, conservation and elimination of the Aspen contribution to global warming and climate change. … And yes, these concepts were discussed and debated and approved by the Aspen City Council in the early 1970s as the evidence of the impact of coal-fired power plants around the Aspen region was already impacting the watershed and skiing in Aspen. … Aspen was a leader in recognition and local action against climate change and global warming in the 1970s.
6. Now is not the time to stop, when all evidence supports the 40-year policy of Aspen.
7. And as to abandonment, Aspen has not and cannot abandon the water rights held by the city in trust for the citizens for more than 120 years. Every action by Aspen for the entire 120-plus-year history has been the maximum beneficial use of the water consistent with sound environmental and financial planning.
Please do not be mislead by the self-serving interests of the latest round of NIMBYs attempting to hijack the consistent and resident-supported water and management plan of the city of Aspen.