Letter: Hurting for hydroelectricity | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Hurting for hydroelectricity

I find it of interest (but certainly for the public good) that our local officials have agreed to oppose further transbasin water diversions to the Front Range. How ironic! According to Aspen Journalism (“Colorado River roundtable makes water projects priority,” The Aspen Times, March 30), securing flows on the Colorado River is tied to the Shoshone hydropower plant senior water right, which dates back to 1902 (Aspen’s are 1889). Yet the preservation of Aspen’s historic hydroelectric water rights on Castle Creek seems to have been met with indifference by Aspen Journalism and opposed by respected environmentalists and wealthy streamside property owners on both Castle and Maroon creeks.

Yet the restoration of clean, renewable hydroelectric generation will ensure the preservation of Aspen’s historical water rights and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, all laudable goals for Aspen.

This same facility can provide an emergency source of power for essential community services that now rely on fossil-fuel-powered diesel electric units. Our electric grid could be a target for terrorists. But not in our beloved Aspen, as we are insulated from world events, to paraphrase an Aspen Marie Antoinette of 2015 who may say, “Let them burn candles.”

We were dumb when we pulled the hydroelectric turbines in 1963; we are even dumber now if we vote for anti-hydroelectric candidates in 2015. Catchy slogans will not preserve our quality of life, but perseverance will.

Jim Markalunas

Aspen


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