LIME: Aspen Living Comes with a Price

Aspen has a reputation for being green. The tony ski town has its own global warming project manager, and has instituted innovative programs like using tax dollars from mansion owners to help buy solar power for the less well off. But a new report shows that the town may not be quite living up to its sustainability goals.A report released by the city shows that Aspen’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2004 were almost twice the national average. The average is 27 tons per person, and Aspen emitted 50 tons per capita, counting both residents and visitors in the city on the average day.

The study attributed more than 40% of the emissions to air travel and found that driving in and out of town was another major factor. But even discounting these activities, emission levels were still high. The global warming project manager told the Aspen Times that energy use in homes and businesses was another problem.

According to the newspaper, a similar study in Boulder in 2003 found per capita emissions were only 19 tons. Aspen hopes to redo the study annually as a way to measure progress toward reducing emissions.

[by Hillary Rosner , Syndicated from the Planet section of LIME ]