Letter: Carbondale, this is our chance | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Carbondale, this is our chance

In the debate around ballot measure 2A, the measure has been pinned by some as simply one additional tax for the town of Carbondale. While I understand this concern, I don’t see ballot measure 2A as a tax, but rather an investment in the town of Carbondale and our children’s future.

2A is different from other taxes in a few ways. First, it is directly tied to energy consumption and therefore controllable. It will result in less than a 5 percent increase in energy bills, and for those who want to mitigate that increase, there will be programs available to help you save energy and actually reduce how much you are paying overall.

To folks who claim there isn’t a plan, there is. The proposed plan is to improve the efficiency of 800 homes (including 400 low-income homes) and 50 businesses, to double our production of solar power, and to implement alternative transportation options – all in the next six years. These programs will get us close to achieving the town of Carbondale’s goal of reducing energy use 20 percent by 2020.

To those who have said “no” to drilling in the Thompson Divide, 2A presents us with an opportunity to transform our words into action. By providing a stable funding source to invest in clean energy, 2A will help us transition off fossil fuels, so that places like the Thompson Divide can remain intact.

And to every parent in Carbondale: we have a responsibility to leave our planet better off for our children. As I see the future through the eyes of my 7-month-old daughter, I feel this responsibility stronger than ever.

To those who are reluctant to vote “yes,” I have three questions: If not us, who? If not here, where? And if not now, when? Carbondale, this is our chance to invest in clean energy, strengthen our economy, and truly address climate change at a local level.

Clare Bastable