Wind power studied near Telluride |

Wind power studied near Telluride

Allen Best

TELLURIDE Powerlines arrived at Hastings Mesa, above Telluride, in 2004. Now, testing is being done to determine whether the winds are sufficient to produce steady electricity. Involved in the project is the local San Miguel Power Association.The Denver Post notes that when the power lines were installed, some of the back-to-the-land locals on the mesa feared it would bring light pollution and ostentatious houses.Also involved in the testing is the state government’s energy office, which also has wind-testing devices in various locations around Colorado, mostly on the eastern plains.Crested Butte fights mineCRESTED BUTTE – Activists and local governments continue to fight the transfer of public land near Crested Butte for what could eventually be a large molybdenum mine.Two years ago the federal government transferred 155 acres on Mt. Emmons to a mining company, Phelps Dodge. Crested Butte, the town, as well as Gunnison County and an environmental group, High Country Citizens Alliance, argued that the transfer was illegal, but a U.S. District Court judge a year ago ruled against the locals.The locals have appealed that decision to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that third parties that are affected by privatization of the land under the 1872 Mining Act should be able to sue. Kevin Flynn, an attorney for the Western Mining Project, calls it a potentially precedent-setting case.Crested Butte has been fighting the proposed molybdenum mine since the 1970s. Molybdenum mining in the United States tanked in 1981, forcing the closure of the Climax Mine between Leadville and Copper Mountain. However, partly in response to the rapid expansion of the Chinese and Indian economies, the world price of molybdenum has been soaring. There is widespread speculation that the Climax Mine will reopen.Whitefish says no to moratoriumWHITEFISH, Mont. – Whitefish, located at the base of the Big Mountain Ski Resort and near the eastern entrance to Glacier National Park, is among the fastest growing cities in Montana. Still, until last year, it had no full-time planning department. As such, the town feels like it is playing catch-up.Still, the town council recently rejected adopting a moratorium on new development applications. Among the criticisms of a moratorium, reports the Whitefish Pilot, is that it would make housing unaffordable.Vail, Colorado

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