Gas fireplaces not first-class experience | AspenTimes.com

Gas fireplaces not first-class experience

Dear Editor:I am outraged from hearing what my wife discovered on a recent outing to the St. Regis in Aspen. She was invited to a spa day party hosted by our neighbor who was soon to be married. On this day of celebration, relaxation and pampering, for my spouse there was also an unsettling undercurrent of disbelief, shock and awe. For on this 90-plus degree day in Aspen, there were three huge natural gas-fired fireplaces burning steadily for the seven hours they were there. A staff member later proudly verified that they run 24 hours a day!For some of us, this is not indicative of a “first-class” experience, but rather highlights differences of what is important for those that should know better and those that really know and care. Personally knowing how the people, landscapes and environment of western Garfield County are so impacted today and into the future by natural gas extraction, I am so amazed how different realities are from one end of our region to the other. This warped sense of providing a “high mountain ambiance” to the St. Regis’ guests and visitors contributes to the destruction of my neighbors’ lives, health, livelihoods and property values. These fireplaces going in the middle of summer also increase air conditioning needs, requiring more electric demands from natural gas or coal-fired plants in someone’s backyard.If Aspen, as a respected and purported leader in many environmental areas, can’t address such a widely impacting practice, then I would wish for a natural gas well in their own front yard. Perhaps the Marolt Open Space? The pending natural gas leases in the Thompson Creek area of Pitkin County are not close enough to Aspen to provide a “complete mountain experience.” Aspen: “natural” beauty? Garfield County: unnatural destruction!Greg JeungGlenwood Springs