Make your vote against hydroelectric plant count
October 24, 2012
I have been thinking about the hydro plant and was shocked into action recently with the quotes from our City Council: “I think it should be the public who decides this” and not outside moneyed interests, Skadron said.
Sounds good, right? But read on:
“Councilman Steve Skadron, however, said that even with a ‘no’ vote, he would consider forging ahead.” (Aspen Daily News, Oct. 18)
When our own City Council tells us that it will ignore our votes, it is time to vote!
Send the council a message!
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Here are the points that often have been obscured:
1. Water taken from Maroon Creek will never, ever be returned to Maroon Creek. It is diverted to Castle Creek, then the Roaring Fork, then the Colorado and then to the ocean!
2. In the winter, streamflows in both creeks may be reduced more than 50 percent. Winter is a critical time for wildlife, especially trout. A shallower river would have fewer pools for the fish to winter in, less food and less habitat. That’s why Trout Unlimited, Aspen Flyfishing, Aspen Trout Guides, the Western Rivers Institute and American Rivers – the folks who make their livings in these rivers – are all against the hydro plant.
3. What will the final costs be for how much power? The projected costs have already doubled from $6.2 million to $14.5 million (including debt). And while the costs have doubled, the estimated power produced has been cut in half, from 6.2 million kilowatts (which included the current hydro plant on Maroon Creek!) to 3.1 million kilowatts, according to the city’s own consultants (Aspen Journalism, April 9).
4. Finally, while most of this is in the county, county voters can’t even vote on it or benefit from it!
Vote “no” on the hydro plant. Our rivers are too precious to be used for a demonstration project.
(Not a NIMBY! We live in town, well upriver of the project.)