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Telluride less than it could have been

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The city’s experiment was driven by municipal policy that aims for reducing environmental impacts. The city also is attempting to construct more energy-efficient buildings, costing more money in the short run but saving money in the long run.

In addition to the satisfactory test results, a second crucial threshold was reached: the town’s diesel supplier began providing B-20 exclusively to the town. As such, the town did not have to go into the fuel-supply business itself. Members of the public can also purchase B-20 at the supply center.

In the past, biodiesel has had quality control problems and such low sales volume that it lacked the economies of scale sufficient to allow competitive prices. Still, biodiesel quietly seems well on its way to becoming a fixture in fleets in ski towns and resort valleys. Jackson, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Telluride have all used biodiesel, and despite some problems, continue to use it. Aspen’s Roaring Fork Transit Agency also is now using B-20.

A major advantage of biodesel is reduced pollution. It produces fewer particulates and small amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, although it causes a slight increase in emissions of nitrous oxide.

Sawmill plan premised on beetle kill

GRANBY, Colo. — Like many mountain valleys in the West, Grand County several decades ago had sawmills operating up and down the valley: at Kremmling, Granby, and Fraser. But like elsewhere, most of the teepee burners have disappeared, the skies have cleared, and the sawmills have closed.

But because of the epidemic of beetle-killed trees, there’s enough supply to justify a new, if small, saw mill near Granby, reports the Sky-Hi News.

Meanwhile, many people have been clearing dead trees from their property, putting the limbs into slash piles. Not all buyers of property realize the expense of having the slash removed, says the paper.

Gunnison looks at biomass heat

GUNNISON, Colo. — Add Gunnison County to the list of mountain town and county jurisdictions interested in using logs and slash from surrounding forests to heat public buildings in more advanced biomass burners.

There, a badly crowded jail needs to be expanded, and county commissioners may take a proposal before voters in November to double the size of the 45,000-square-foot courthouse.

The Crested Butte News reports agreement among land managers that a long-term supply of biomass is available from public lands for such a venture. The commissioners were offered – and accepted – a free feasibility study by McNeil Technologies. Financial assistance is available through the Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation.

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