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Aspen Puts Heat On EPA Over Climate Change

December 6, 2006

Aspen, CO - Warmer days and shrinking seasons have ski areas feeling the heat from global warming. Climate changes in recent years have prompted Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) to add its voice to the chorus of states and environmental groups asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the problem in a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ed Ramey is ASC's attorney. He authored a "friend of the court" brief detailing the concerns of the ski industry.

"Over the last 15 years, we have been experiencing increasing temperatures on the order of two to three-plus degrees on an annual basis."

Ramey adds that current climate models show Aspen's very existence as a ski destination is in jeopardy.

"Sometime between 2030 and 2100, we could be put in the position where the ski area is no longer economically viable, and that doesn't just mean Aspen, but other ski areas across the country as well."

He claims that Aspen has already had to shoulder the cost of increased snow making because of an increase in the number of "frost-free" days.

The case before the court asks the EPA to regulate auto emissions that contribute to global warming. The EPA claims it does not have the authority to make such rules. Oral arguments were presented last week; a decision is not expected for a month or more.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO