Opinion: Squaw’s environmental commitment means little in grand scheme | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Squaw’s environmental commitment means little in grand scheme

It’s great that Squaw Valley is making incremental reductions in its carbon footprint. But let’s be real — downhill skiing at Squaw is the equivalent of Bigfoot.

Consider the tremendous amount of electricity and natural gas needed to power the resort and ski infrastructure as well as the diesel to run a fleet of grooming machines.

How does 4,750 emission-free miles from Squaw’s electric car charging system compare to the emissions from thousands of vehicles driven hundreds of miles from the Bay Area to bring skiers to Squaw every weekend?

Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth is promoting flights from Europe to Reno to bring skiers to Squaw. How are these emissions accounted for?

After three low-snow winters, and 2014 being the hottest year on record, this season is following global warming predictions of higher temperatures, more rain and less snow. Even with Squaw’s upgraded, yet still resource-intensive snow making, the Mountain Run barely opened before Christmas because it was too warm to make snow.

Given Squaw’s stated commitment to environmental sustainability, KSL, the parent company of Squaw/Alpine, should reconsider the massive expansion plans of its resort, as it will be bad for the environment as well as its investors.

D.J. Miller

Tahoe City

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