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Jackson Hole measures carbon footprint

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Jackson Hole has taken stock of its carbon footprint, and its not a pretty sight. An analysis of electricity, petroleum natural gas, and heating records show that each resident is responsible for 37 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.The national average is 24 metric tons.Such statistics show that Jackson Hole, known for fostering a land conservation ethic, has developed an economy that relies on massive energy consumption, notes the Jackson Hole News&Guides Thomas Dewell, in reporting the analysis.The numbers are just staggering, said Michael Miller, president of Teton Power, whose company helps organizations and individuals find ways to decrease their carbon footprint. Were energy pigs, and to live where we live is energy intensive.He noted that the valley economy is completely unsustainable without outside input. There is no such thing as a salad grown in Jackson Hole during the winter.About 1- percent of Jackson Holes electrical consumers have signed up for hydroelectric, wind, and other forms of clean energy. But even the renewable energy economy depends upon the natural gas being extracted to the south in the Pinedale area, the nations leading poster child for oil and gas development.The drive to use renewable energy will require even more natural gas development, because wind and solar energy require backups that can be turned on immediately, said John Bargas, communications manager for the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States.Aspen was among the first to inventory its carbon footprint as a part of its Canary Initiative. Avon has measure its carbon footprint and similar efforts are also underway in the counties where Crested Butte, Telluride, and Durango are located.

KETCHUM, Idaho Sometimes things dont seem to make much sense. Such would seem to be the case of a woman in Ketchum named Chris Potters.The Idaho Mountain Express explains that she moved to Ketchum in 1981, raised two sons, taught school, and in 1993 got involved in city government, eventually serving three terms as a council member. She was heavily involved in creating a skateboard park, adopting a dark-sky law, encouraging affordable housing, and fighting gated developments. She lobbied for, but did not succeed, in getting the community swimming pool heated by geothermal resources. Her final job on the council was to oversee the Ketchum Cemetery.Even then, she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers disease. She recently died of the disease at age 55.


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