Please support hydro
November 5, 2012
The generation of clean, renewable hydroelectric power on Castle Creek is a legacy of both the community of Aspen and those who have kept this town in power and water for over a hundred years.
The people of Aspen owe it to themselves to preserve the historical water rights for both water diversion and power generation that belong to and should continue to belong to and for the benefit of the people of this community.
We owe it to ourselves to establish again an emergency source of power should some event separate this community from the grid. This source will allow us to feed locally generated power to this community in the event of an emergency or an extended interruption in power service. It also provides locally generated power that is not affected by transmission losses from distant sites.
I am confident that the city of Aspen can protect our streams while generating power, returning the water to the streams just as it has at Ruedi and on Maroon Creek for over 25 years. Climate change will wreak more havoc on these streams and on the fish population than this well-managed hydro project.
The city has promised to protect the streamflows and has commissioned studies by well-known and respected experts on streamflow and aquatic life. We need leadership on renewable energy and climate change, and Aspen should always strive to be in the forefront.
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There are attacks on the qualifications of hydro proponents. Individuals, like Auden Schendler and Randy Udall, who have been implementing renewable energy for decades. They know firsthand what they are talking about. My father, Jim Markalunas, operated the plant on Castle Creek and can speak about his firsthand experience with power generation and its lack of impact on Castle Creek. I trust their experience and knowledge on the subject to a far greater degree than those who simply wish to create doubt and cast aspersions.
I am hopeful that the people of this community will stand up and be counted in the face of outside money and influence and will stand together to protect valuable resources, heritage and power generation for our community and for the next generation.