Vote yes for clean power | AspenTimes.com

Vote yes for clean power

Dear Editor:

Voting YES on 2C and 2D allows Aspen to produce its own clean, cheap power by building a small hydroelectric plant on an empty lot beneath the Castle Creek Bridge. This is sound environmental thinking for the long term.

The plant produces enough electricity to satisfy the power needs of many Aspen homes ” about 600. The original Castle Creek hydroelectric plant served Aspen in much the same way from 1892 to 1958. And like the old plant, this one will last for decades.

The plant uses no fossil fuel, so carbon dioxide emissions are nearly eliminated. It’s virtually immune to the cost increases of oil, natural gas and coal. And it reduces the need for energy purchased from coal-powered plants in nearby states.

A small plant like this one is quiet ” so quiet in fact, that hearing it is difficult, if not impossible. The rush of the river is louder. It maintains Castle Creek’s minimum stream flows, and the amount of water it diverts is negligible. Any water that is used returns to the river just below the plant.

Two voter approvals are needed. The first is for a bond issue of just about $4 million to be paid off by the revenues the plant generates. The second is for permission to build on a lot that encompasses open space ” land to be exchanged for trails along Castle Creek and a parcel near the base of Aspen Mountain.

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Building the hydroelectric plant energizes our future in a cleaner and greener way. It’s first-rate environmental stewardship ” an ethic that benefits us today, and those who follow us for generations to come. Please vote YES on 2C and 2D.

Steve Skadron

Aspen City Council

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