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Aspen cuts carbon emissions, but is using more resources

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado ” While Aspen may be lowering its carbon emissions, the collective citizenry is using more electricity and natural gas.

The city of Aspen on Monday announced the results of a community-wide “Aspen Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory,” which reflects an 8.25 percent decrease in emissions from 2004 levels, but a significant increase in the consumption of electricity and natural gas.

The inventory is the first update to Aspen’s 2004 baseline analysis. The report was commissioned to determine if progress was being made toward the goal of reducing Aspen’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.



The report found that in 2007, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the Aspen area was 760,268 tons of “carbon dioxide-equivalent.” In 2004, that number was 828,648.

Emissions associated with both transportation (ground and air travel) and buildings (electricity, natural gas and propane) decreased, according to the city. Those are the two sectors that contribute the most to Aspen’s overall emissions.



However, electric consumption rose 9.8 percent on average from 2004 to 2007 (2.9 percent for the city’s municipal electric utility and 12.8 percent for Holy Cross Energy). About 29 percent of the community’s 2007 electric demand was serviced by the city utility; the remaining 71 percent was serviced by Holy Cross Energy. Aspen Electric provided about 3 percent more electricity in 2007 than in 2004, but its associated emissions decreased by about 51 percent.

The report cites Aspen Electric’s move toward renewable sources of energy, such as wind power, for the drop in overall emissions.

The city’s utility went from about 44.2 percent to 72.7 percent non-carbon sources for electricity from 2004 to 2007. There are plans to reach 100 percent in the future.



For the executive summary of the report, including information on Aspen’s ground transportation, air travel, buildings sector and other sources of greenhouse gas emissions, visit http://www.aspenglobalwarming.com.


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