Letter (Monday, Aug. 12): Tipton champions alternative energy | AspenTimes.com

Letter (Monday, Aug. 12): Tipton champions alternative energy



Dear Editor:

I may have overlooked it, but I have not seen an article in either of our local Aspen newspapers about important bipartisan pro-environment legislation introduced by our congressman, Scott Tipton, which is on its way to President Obama's desk for signature, having passed both houses of Congress. I received a press release about the legislation on Aug. 1, and I assume the newspapers did too.

Congressman Tipton first introduced the Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act in 2011 to facilitate the development of clean, affordable and renewable hydropower in existing Bureau of Reclamation canals and conduits throughout the United States. The Interior Department has identified at least 28 such sites in Colorado and 373 across the nation. Congressman Tipton estimates that the energy produced from these conduits can power up to 1 million homes in Colorado alone.

The legislation sponsored by Congressman Tipton is noteworthy in several respects. First, it encourages the production of alternative energy using existing installations that have already undergone regulatory review and are not now being used productively for this purpose. Second, it will create a number of rural jobs related to the development of these facilities. Third, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation will produce net revenues to the United States Treasury without cost to taxpayers.

Fourth, because the legislation passed the House but was not taken up by the Senate for a vote during the previous session of Congress, Congressman Tipton reintroduced the legislation this year and it passed both the House and the Senate with substantial bipartisan support. In the Senate, Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming and Democrat Mark Udall of Colorado co-sponsored the bill.

As we all know, it's difficult to get anything done in Washington these days. This legislation is environmentally sound, will help produce low cost power, will create jobs, will help offset our national deficit, received bipartisan support and our own Congressman was the chief mover of the legislation. Surely, there's something to cover in that list of accomplishments in our local papers.

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