In Aspen, people may be praying for the perfect storm, but they may not get it this year. Dorothy Atkins’ article (“Early December hotel bookings down due to dry weather,” Aspen Daily News, Nov. 29) discusses the detrimental impact of bleak snowfall predictions on Aspen hotel reservations. “When it’s going to snow is the million-dollar question that everyone’s trying to answer, said Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), based in Grand Junction.”
Aspen’s snow shortages make it all the more apparent that global warming is happening, making storms, heat waves and droughts more frequent and more severe. Now more than ever, Colorado needs to move away from carbon-emitting fossil fuels and towards renewable, water-responsible energy sources like wind power.
Wind power is already reducing Colorado’s global-warming pollution by as much as taking 525,000 cars off the road per year, according to a new Environment Colorado report, “Wind Power for a Cleaner America.” Furthermore, wind power directly helps to conserve water. In the U.S., more water is withdrawn from rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers to cool power plants than for any other purpose. In Colorado alone, by displacing production from fossil-fuel-fired power plants, wind power currently saves enough water to meet the needs of 23,300 people.
However, key tax credits for wind power are set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does not act now to extend these policies, many proposed wind farms will not be built, snowfall will continue to come up short, and Aspen forecaster Ryan Boudreau will have to persist in his current snowmaking tactics: “I’m just going to go to church and I’m going to have a few more drinks and hopefully things will change.” We thank Congressman Tipton for supporting wind power and urge him to do all he can to renew the wind tax credits.
The future of Aspen depends on it.
Field organizer, Environment Colorado