It’s no surprise Johnny Boyd has taken a drink from the city’s Kool-Aid on the hydropower project. Boyd claims that the city is guided by science, not emotion, yet he spews his own fiction, emotional rhetoric and personal slurs.
He parrots the unfounded fear mongering that some spooky money man and some spooky industry is funding the opposition. Only an astonishing level of hubris would think that any business outside Aspen knows, let alone cares, what is going on with this dinky trophy project that local pols have inflated in their minds into some kind of national crusade. Give us a break. This small project is no threat to any industry.
The only people or organizations I know who are opposing this misguided project are locals who care about the inevitable stream destruction and the waste of public funds. The people who really pose a threat to the environment are not in some unnamed far off place — they are just across town in City Hall.
Boyd even recognizes the small impact Aspen will have on conventional energy production and even climate change when he says, “it’s not the tonnage that concerns the city — it’s the principle.”
That is the point; the opponents’ “principle” is that Aspen does have the wherewithal to set an example, but resurrecting an old-fashioned, 120-year-old micro-hydro plant that destroys streams doesn’t do that.
The slow start won’t help; the so-called slow start period has already started and there isn’t even a plant yet. If a plant gets built, it might be allowed to produce without any slow-start restrictions.
Hydrologic alteration of streams at projected levels causes serious damage. This is well established. That is based on current science and the city’s own numbers, not emotion.
Castle and Maroon creeks are in good shape now. The damage will not show until long after any monitoring has ceased. The proposed monitoring program would consider only fish and insects, not riparian vegetation and hydrology. It can’t detect the underlying ecosystem damage.
Why do the proponents of this project insist that residents gamble on a project that will damage long stretches of our invaluable streams? Even if you aren’t sure whether the city is right or the opponents are right, think about the damage if it turns out the opponents are right? Why should we take such a huge risk? To build a trophy for City Hall?
Another fear-mongering myth perpetuated by Boyd’s column is that only a few well-heeled homeowners are behind the opposition. There must be a lot of them and most are not well heeled.
The group (www.2CVoteNo.org ) that opposes the project has well over 130 local endorsers. Genuine concern for the streams and Aspen’s future, not greed, is their motivation. I’m for stopping this now and investing in other available renewable energy sources such as solar. Vote “no” on stream destroying 2C this election. Thanks for your attention.