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Let voters decide on hydro project

Dear Editor:

Time for a fresh, in-depth look by the entire community at the proposed hydro project on Castle and Maroon creeks.

A not-very-developed plan for a green project that was supported by only 11 percent of the potential Aspen voters in 2007 has morphed into a project that is at least double the original cost and will have significant, unanticipated impacts on our rivers. The original ballot item never mentioned dewatering our rivers or possible environmental impacts. Numerous independent studies by highly qualified professionals all conclude the city’s initial studies were based on erroneous information with a very limited scope and that the city’s conclusions were not supportable.

In the four years since that election, we have learned a good bit more about this project – its ever-increasing costs, environmental impacts, and potential benefits. We’ve learned that there are smarter ways to do hydro and that there are much greener projects to spend out committed dollars on. It is time to go back to the voters and determine whether there is support for a project that sounded good and was well-intentioned at its onset but appears to have morphed into an environmentally and fiscally expensive “trophy green” project that doesn’t honestly address the very serious issues of global warming and environmental stewardship.

Castle and Maroon creeks have thrived for more than 50 million years. Before we jeopardize their health, let’s have a very serious, transparent conversation. Please sign the current petition (by Thursday, Jan. 13) that will allow our community to review and debate the facts and vote accordingly.

Michael Lipkin

Aspen


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