The recent attack on Aspen’s supply of natural gas was obviously intended as a statement by political extremists. But were they of the NIMBY environmental preservationist and economically obtuse left, or of the environmentally and economically obtuse, “drill baby drill” right?
In either case, the disruption of Aspen’s natural gas supply demonstrated the absurdity of claims by the virtue-signaling boosters that Aspen in general (and SkiCo in particular) are operating entirely on “green energy,” with the sanctimonious implication that every place in America can and should do so while shutting down the production of fossil fuels virtually overnight.
The reality is that natural gas is the most economical and least environmentally disruptive source of energy that is currently widely available for heating buildings in cold climates like Aspen’s (and powering buses such as the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s). Furthermore, oil is still needed to power the vast majority of transportation that in the case of Aspen’s economy is extraordinarily dependent both on long daily commutes by workers, and long trips by highway or air by tourists and owners of energy-grubbing second homes that often sit vacant.
I support a national policy of accelerating the inevitable transition away from fossil fuels through a graduated tax on carbon emissions. Attaining that goal, based on economic incentives, is subverted by the sort of specious environmental grandstanding practiced by so many Aspen boosters. I hope that the natural gas interruption serves as a lesson for them.
Carl Ted Stude