The statement attributed to me about the poor health of the Crystal River in Andrew Travers’ article about the four county commissioner candidates (ADN, June 4) was misconstrued. The fact that I attended the American Rivers press conference about the Crystal River at the site of the proposed Placita Dam a short distance above Redstone does not mean that the Crystal is in poor health. It is very healthy compared to some of the other streams in our valley, and the intent of a lot of people in our valley is to try to keep it that way by preventing the dam from ever being built.
The generally poor health of our streams and forests is an indication of a much bigger and serious problem facing us, that of global climate change brought about by the burning of fossil fuels. This is the greatest existential threat to the future of skiing in the Aspen area, because the warming global temperatures threaten to shorten our ski seasons to the point that it will not be worth running the lifts anymore. The burning of fossil fuels also fans the desire of the energy companies to try to tap into the huge and inaccessible oil shale reserves which are nearby. If they are developed to the level that the big oil companies would like, all of northwestern Colorado will resemble more of an industrial wasteland than the pristine mountains with clean air that we all know and love.
For these reasons, one of the three planks of my platform in my campaign to become the new Pitkin County commissioner is that we must have an energy policy to counteract global climate change. Pitkin County must continue to work with all of the other terrific governmental bodies, nonprofit groups, and companies in our valley in a collaborative effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy. There is an incredible amount of innovation and thinking outside the box going on right now in our valley. Together we can make a huge difference and set an example for the rest of the country and world to follow.