Aspen and EPA air regulations

Aspen Skiing’s role in the EPA’s new regulations for coal-fired power plants

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced rules governing emissions from coal-fired power plants. The gestation on this was over a decade long, and the Aspen Skiing Co. had a role in it.

 A decade ago, the EPA was dragging its feet. In 2003, the agency said it had no authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Comanche III coal-generating unit, which supplies power to the Aspen Skiing Co. PHoto/Allen Best

The Comanche III coal-generating unit, which supplies power to the Aspen Skiing Co. PHoto/Allen Best

But the state of Massachusetts and 11 other states plus several cities and assorted non-governmental organizations filed suit. Along the way, the Aspen Skiing Co. filed an amicus brief in support of Massachusetts’s position.

In that brief, Aspen argued that it was “already experiencing these impacts, and the prognosis under ‘business-as-usual’ scenarios that fail to address air pollutants associated with climate change is bleak.”

Added the brief: “It is likely even under optimistic analysis that a week will be shorn off the (ski) season by 2030, and anywhere from four to over nine weeks by the year 20100 under current climate change projects.”

The Supreme Court in 2007 disagreed with the Bush administration, ruling that the law was “unambiguous” and that emissions came under its broad definition of “air pollutant.” It ordered the agency to determine whether greenhouse-gas emissions endanger public health or the environment. The EPA issued an “endangerment finding” in December 2009 that laid the groundwork for the power-plant rule it proposed last week, explains The Washington Post.

From the June 11 issue of Mountain Town News, a subscription-based e-magazine.



About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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